Bands of America compete at JSU

High school bands crowded the stands all day Saturday for the annual Bands of America (BOA) Regional Competition. It was  Jacksonville State University’s sixth year hosting the event.

The highest scoring band, and the winner of BOA JSU Regional, was the Kennesaw Mountain High School Marching Band.
JSU’s Director of Bands Kenneth Bodiford said, “Bands of America is a wonderful event. It promotes the highest level of excellence for marching bands in our country.”

The competition is the first step in displaying the hard work that each and every one of the students have put in since July.

The shows are all very different from each other, but each one requires extreme dedication. The East Coweta High School show was themed after The Hunger Games series, and the Flanagan High School Marching Band’s show had a pinball theme. Each show was very entertaining for the crowd.

Originally there were 19 marching bands planning to attend the JSU Regional. The bands were from all over the Southeast.

Participating states included Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida and Arkansas. Three high schools from South Carolina were going to attend the competition but were not able to due to flooding in their area. However, 16 marching bands still took the field.

The Bands of America competition allows bands of all sizes to compete. The bands may have anywhere from 30 to 300 members marching. These bands can be classified as 1A, 2A, 3A, or 4A.

The prelims began with the first band taking the field at 10:45 a.m. The Jacksonville State Marching Southerners concluded prelims with an exhibition performance.

An Outstanding Musical Performance, Outstanding Visual Performance, and Outstanding General Effect award was given out for each band classification.

These are referred to as the High Achievement Awards. First, second and third place awards were also given out in each division. Then, the ten finalist bands were announced. The finalist bands were selected regardless of their class division.
Some of the finalist marching bands were from East Coweta High School, Kennesaw Mountain High School and Flanagan High School.

The marching bands performed in finals in no specific order. Finals started at 7:30 p.m. with an exhibition from the St. James School Marching Band, and it was then followed by the ten finalist bands taking the field for competition.

The 10 bands each performed their 2015 show again in hopes for first place.
The first place winner of this regional competition will go on to compete against the other regional winners at the Grand National Championships.

All regional winners will compete in the BOA Grand National Championships in Indianapolis this November.

The final performances after the last band took the field, and the final presentation of the awards began at 10:30. Every member of each of the finalist bands took the field to hear the results of the competition.

Regardless of class division, the High Achievement Awards were given out one more time. The Kennesaw Mountain High School Marching Band won each of them.

When the placements were decided, the name of the school was announced along with the score that they received.

After the announcement, the school was able to perform their 2015 show one more time to celebrate their win.

Katelyn Schneider
Staff Reporter

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