Thursday, November 21, 2019
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IL schools host marching band history Saturday

It’ll be a spectacular Saturday, as marching bands will take the field and fill the Illinois air from I-72 to I-88, with a performance in Lisle by the celebrated and symphonious Marching Illini.


The Marching Illini in a pre-game show, 2005 (Fumo7887 / en.wikipedia via Creative Commons)

The school song of the university, “Illinois Loyalty,” was first performed March 3, 1906, and is the first school song ever written for a university in the US. The Marching Illini were also the first college band to use the upright sousaphones in place of tubas on the marching field.

But perhaps the biggest place Illinois holds in marching band history comes from 1907. At a football game against the University of Chicago—when Chicago was still in the Big 10—the group became the first band to perform a halftime show (in formation) at a football game.

In all, four marching band festivals take place, and Voxitatis will have special coverage, including interviews and photos, from the Naperville Central Marching Classic, which takes place at Illinois Benedictine University in Lisle. In the information below, all festivals are on Saturday and all bands are from Illinois high schools unless noted otherwise. Voxitatis will update this page as results become available.

10th Naperville Central High School Marching Classic, Lisle, Noon

Special performance by the Marching Illini

The Marching Illini from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are expected to perform at this festival, following the performance by Naperville Central High School. The Big 10 college marching band includes about 350 students from 18 states. The band performed during halftime of Saturday’s game against Western Michigan:

Schedule of bands

12:00 — Morris Community — Dis(appear)
12:15 — Lakes Community, Lake Villa — The Room
12:30 — Harry D Jacobs, Algonquin — Grovers Corners 2016
12:45 — Wheaton Warrenville South, Wheaton — Recess
1:00 — Naperville North — Mondrian: Hip to Be Square

1:30 — Benet Academy, Lisle — PRESSURE: The Music of Billy Joel
1:45 — Geneseo — The Music of the Geneseo Knights
2:00 — Prairie Ridge, Crystal Lake — Resurrection
2:15 — Argo, Summit — Scheherazade

2:45 — Thornton Fractional South, Lansing — Masquerade
3:00 — Amos Alonzo Stagg, Palos Hills — For All Mankind
3:15 — Lemont — Amongst the Clouds
3:30 — Maine West, Des Plaines — Interstellar

4:30 — Oswego — Illusions
4:45 — Plainfield North — Spellbound
5:00 — Oak Park/River Forest, Oak Park — Phat Tuesday
5:15 — Neuqua Valley, Naperville — The Swingin’ Land of Oz
5:30 — Huntley — GrooveBox
5:45 — Marian Catholic, Chicago Heights — Unbroken

6:15 — Lockport Township — Winged Triumph
6:30 — Downers Grove South — Cosmic
6:45 — Romeoville — Neo-Gyptian
7:00 — Batavia — The Anatomy of Sound
7:15 — Warren Township, Gurnee — Pearl Harbor
7:30 — Naperville Central — Red

Links and resources

Judging Panel

Music Performance Individual: Jeff Parthun
Music Performance Ensemble: Mike Madonia
Visual Performance Individual: Erica Bough
Visual Performance Ensemble: Rick Valenzuela
Music General Effect: Jeff Waggoner
Music General Effect: Matt Temple
Visual General Effect: Lori Valenzuela
Percussion: Tim Berg
Color Guard: Chad Quamme
Drum Major: Maureen Temple
For the Midwest Percussion Cooperative: Henry Williams
Timing and Penalties: Chris Babashka

Draft photos

We present here one photo from each band. We’ll be glad to release additional photos to school personnel; just email us. Also, in order to accommodate faster loading on the web (and preserve data for mobile devices), the JPG files have been rezzed down and converted using a LOSSY algorithm. This reduces the quality of the photos a little and makes them unsuitable for print, except in the most low-res publications. Email us for more info.

Morris High School marching band September 2016
Morris Community High School
Lakes Community High School marching band September 2016
Lakes Community High School
Harry D Jacobs High School marching band September 2016
Harry D Jacobs High School
Wheaton Warrenville South High School marching band September 2016
Wheaton Warrenville South High School
Naperville North High School marching band September 2016
Naperville North High School
Benet Academy marching band September 2016
Benet Academy
Geneseo High School marching band September 2016
Geneseo High School
Prairie Ridge High School marching band September 2016
Prairie Ridge High School
Argo High School marching band September 2016
Argo High School
TF South High School marching band September 2016
TF South High School
Amos Alonzo Stagg High School marching band September 2016
Amos Alonzo Stagg High School
Lemont High School marching band September 2016
Lemont High School
Maine West High School marching band September 2016
Maine West High School
Oswego High School marching band September 2016
Oswego High School
Plainfield North High School marching band September 2016
Plainfield North High School
Oak Park-River Forest High School marching band September 2016
Oak Park-River Forest High School
Neuqua Valley High School marching band September 2016
Neuqua Valley High School
Huntley High School marching band September 2016
Huntley High School
Marian Catholic High School marching band September 2016
Marian Catholic High School
Lockport Township High School marching band September 2016
Lockport Township High School
Downers Grove South High School marching band September 2016
Downers Grove South High School
Romeoville High School marching band September 2016
Romeoville High School
Batavia High School marching band September 2016
Batavia High School
Warren Township High School marching band September 2016
Warren Township High School
Naperville Central High School marching band September 2016
Naperville Central High School

5th Normal West Marching Band Invitational, Bloomington, 3:15

Schedule of Bands

3:15 — ROWVA, Oneida
3:30 — Blue Ridge, Farmer City
3:45 — Farmington Central — Spies

4:15 — Pekin Community — Dreams
4:30 — Limestone Community, Bartonville — Silk Road
4:45 — Illinois Valley Central, Chillicothe — In the Cloud

6:00 — Dunlap — Red Riding Hood
6:15 — Davenport Central HS, Davenport, Iowa — Da Vinci’s Machines
6:30 — Normal Community — Art is Gold

7:00 — Canton — Imagine
7:15 — Minooka Community — Into the Cosmos
7:30 — Bloomington — Infinity
7:45 — Normal West — Letters to Juliet

Historical note

The Normal West Invitational is held on the campus of Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, at Tucci Stadium, which is the fifth-oldest football stadium in the NCAA, having been built in 1893. Older football stadiums were built at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, in 1881; Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, in 1883; Sewanee: The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, in 1891; and Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts, also in 1891.

A new artificial turf surface was installed at Illinois Wesleyan and the stadium renamed in 2011 in honor of Byron Tucci, a lifelong resident of Bloomington and a 1966 Illinois Wesleyan graduate with a double major in business administration and economics, whose gift to the university allowed the artificial turf to be installed. The stadium, built on the site of Wilder Field, has hosted athletic events for more than 120 years.

Links and resources

2016 Danville Viking Invitational, 3:45

Schedule of Bands

3:45 — Bismarck-Henning, Bismarck
4:00 — El Paso-Gridley, El Paso — Carmen
4:15 — Casey-Westfield, Casey
4:30 — St Joseph-Ogden, St Joseph — The Music of Billy Joel
4:45 — Watseka Community — Let Freedom Ring
5:00 — Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond, Arthur
5:15 — Hoopeston Area

6:00 — Benton Central HS, Oxford, Indiana — The Olympian Spirit
6:15 — Charleston — Star Wars
6:30 — Urbana
6:45 — Prairie Central, Fairbury
7:00 — Champaign Central — Concrete Jungle
7:15 — Danville — Who Do You Think You Are?

Links and resources

12th Mt Zion Marching Music Games, 6 PM

Schedule of Bands

6:00 — Bement — James Bond Show
6:15 — Sparta
6:30 — Maroa-Forsyth, Maroa — A Tribute to Michael Jackson
6:45 — Okaw Valley, Bethany — Will Love Run Out?
7:00 — Auburn
7:15 — Sullivan
7:30 — Sangamon Valley, Niantic — I Love the ’80s
7:45 — Olympia, Stanford — New Horizons
8:00 — Tri-Valley, Downs — Persis
8:15 — Jacksonville
8:30 — Mattoon
8:45 — Glenwood, Chatham — Riverdance
9:00 — Monticello — 1001 Nights
9:15 — Mt Zion — Medea: Music of Samuel Barber

Links and resources

Pre-show coverage

The marching band games have been in Mt Zion for over a decade, WRSP-TV (FOX affiliate, Springfield) reports.

“It’s cool to see where we place because sometimes it’s better because I think maybe it’s the stress levels are down and we’re not competing,” the station quoted one senior from the band as saying. “I definitely think there’s no tension. We’re more excited and we’re happier to be able to play for the bands after seeing what they did all day. We want to share what we’re able to do.”

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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