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September 21, 2023

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Big band to the grand stands

The University’s marching band has been selected to perform at the Bands of America Grand National Championships in November.

Bands of America is an organization that holds regional and national championships for high school marching bands. While the competition is for high school bands, according to the Band of America’s Web site, the goal of the program is to “not only provide a venue to showcase America’s outstanding high school bands, but also provide an experience that excites and motivates band programs at all levels.”

The University’s marching band has been selected as the sole university band to perform during the three-day championships in Indianapolis.

Richard Kennell, dean of the College of Musical Arts, believes this experience will be valuable for students and the University.

“The band is able to perform a quality, national presentation for a critical audience. It challenges the band to perform at the highest level,” Kennell said.

Bruce Moss, director of bands, said the audience at Bands of America is unique.

“It is different from the audience at football games. These people are knowledgeable and geared towards marching bands,” Moss said.

While many of those in attendance at the Bands of America show will be fans and critics of marching bands, Carol Hayward, band activities director, said the show will be a way to reach new people.

“The national exposure is extremely valuable and an incredible opportunity to be seen by a new audience,” Hayward said.

In addition to national exposure and publicity for the marching band, the experience will be useful for students once they graduate, Hayward continued.

“This is an opportunity to see some of the best high school bands perform, and many of our students are music education majors with aspirations of being future band directors,” Hayward said.

The marching band has been preparing for the Bands of America show and other upcoming shows simultaneously, Moss said.

The 220-member band will travel to Indianapolis to perform at the RCA Dome on Saturday, Nov. 17. This is the final year the competition will be held at the Colts’ stadium because the dome will be demolished in 2008.

“This is the big one since this is the final year at the Dome,” Hayward said.

Kennell said the Bands of America show is a great opportunity and honor for all those involved.

“It is a real feather in the cap,” he said.

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