Thursday, September 23, 2021

IL marching band season opens Saturday


Illinois’s competitive marching band season takes the field Saturday from O’Fallon near St Louis to Roselle in Chicago’s northwest suburbs.

Lake Park H.S. marching band, Grand Nationals, Bands of America 2015
Lake Park High School, here at the BOA Grand Nationals in 2015, hosts the 38th Lancer Joust. (Voxitatis)

Voxitatis has updated this article as more information and results became available. All contests are on Saturday, and all bands are from Illinois high schools, unless otherwise noted.

38th Lancer Joust, Roselle (Lake Park High School), 1:30

Schedule of Bands – preliminary competition

1:30 — Herscher — The Garden of the Heart
1:45 — HD Jacobs, Algonquin
2:00 — Elk Grove, Elk Grove Village — The Coven
2:15 — Naperville Central, Naperville — Red
2:30 — Downers Grove South, Downers Grove — Cosmic
2:45 — John Hersey, Arlington Heights
3:00 — Plainfield North, Plainfield — Spellbound
3:15 — Greendale H.S., Greendale, Wisconsin
3:45 — Victor J Andrew, Tinley Park — This Heart of Glass
4:00 — Batavia — The Anatomy of Sound
4:15 — Lockport Township, Lockport
4:30 — Prospect, Mt Prospect — In the Arena
4:45 — Lemont — Amongst the Clouds
5:00 — Wheeling
5:15 — Lake Park, Roselle — Pale Blue Dot

Special Notes

The Greendale (Wis.) High School marching band is home to 270 of the 937 students enrolled at the school (29%) and has won the state marching band title 12 times.

The Elk Grove High School marching band was in Washington on July 4 for the National Independence Day Parade. Voxitatis talked with several students and the band’s director, Ron Fiorito, while they were in the nation’s capital.

The Prospect High School marching band will be in New York on Thanksgiving to march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this year. Voxitatis collected the thoughts of one of the band’s drum majors as she found out the band was selected for the parade.

“It was, to say the least, an incredibly exciting day—exciting to the point of my friend crying into my shoulder and screaming ‘NEW YORK BABY HERE WE COME’ and exciting to the point of an enormous confetti hurricane within the confines of one room,” wrote Hannah Thornton. “The word honored can’t even explain how I, how all of us, felt in that moment. We felt victorious. It was insane how quickly the atmosphere in the room changed, and at the same time, it is insane how suddenly our lives have all been changed.”

“It’s not easy to do what we do,” the Daily Herald quoted Chris Barnum, Prospect’s band director and a former baritone player in the school’s marching band, as saying about the 197-member band and this season. “It takes a lot of time and effort and repetition and energy, but once you’re the man in the arena, you have this great achievement. All they want to do is put on a great show and entertain you.”


The band from Prospect High School was named grand champion at the 37th Lancer Joust, according to the finals recap sheet. The full recap sheet from the preliminary competition is also available. Prospect also won caption trophies for best music, best visuals, and best general effect in Class 3A.

A summary of the festival is available on Illinois Marching Online.

30th Marching Panther Invitational, Washington Community High School, 1:42

Schedule of Bands

1:42 — Bement — James Bond Show
1:56 — Morrison — The Music of Queen
2:10 — Dwight Township, Dwight — Into the Jungle
2:24 — Okaw Valley, Bethany — Will Love Run Out?
2:38 — El Paso-Gridley, El Paso — Carmen
2:52 — Watseka Community, Watseka — Let Freedom Ring
3:06 — Farmington — Spies
3:30 — Streator Township, Streator — Wicked
3:44 — Tri-Valley, Downs — Persis
3:58 — Eureka — Shine
4:12 — East Peoria — Hireath
4:26 — Metamora — The Night Circus
4:40 — Pontiac Township, Pontiac — Fantasy on a Hymn
4:54 — United Township, East Moline — Flight
5:08 — Pekin Community, Pekin — Dreams
5:22 — Olympia, Stanford — New Horizons

7:12 — Geneseo — The Music of the Geneseo Knights
7:26 — Illinois Valley Central, Chillicothe — In the Cloud
7:40 — Dunlap — Red Riding Hood
7:54 — Limestone Community, Bartonville — Silk Road
8:08 — Canton — Imagine

8:32 — Champaign Central, Champaign — Concrete Jungle
8:46 — Normal West, Normal — Letters to Juliet
9:00 — Morton — Untamed
9:14 — Washington Community, Washington — Step in Time

Pre-show Coverage

“I can’t believe how fast 30 years has gone,” the Peoria Journal-Star quoted Jim Tallman, Washington Community High School’s marching band director and the invitational director for 24 years, as saying.

The festival used to take place in the middle of the marching season but was moved to the very first week several years ago. “It’s not a high-pressure, meat-grinder event,” Mr Tallman said. “It’s an opportunity for bands to work out the bugs in their shows, a positive educational experience for the start of the season.”


A full recap sheet of the show has been posted. The band from Morton High School was named grand champion, but seven other class champions and several caption award winners are also shown.

Voxitatis covered this event, complete with pictures and accounts of the various performances.

A summary of the show is available on Illinois Marching Online.

2016 Metro East Marching Classic, O'Fallon Township High School, 3:00

Schedule of Bands

3:00 — Salem Community, Salem
3:13 — Robinson — Pandora Reopened
3:26 — Richland County, Olney — Aerodynamics
3:39 — Nashville Community, Nashville
3:52 — Effingham
4:05 — Mater Dei, Breese
4:31 — Union H.S., Union, Missouri
4:44 — Centralia — The Heist
4:57 — Carbondale — Pathways
5:10 — Highland
5:23 — Triad, Troy
5:36 — Hillsboro H.S., Hillsboro, Missouri

6:28 — Francis Howell H.S., St Charles, Missouri
6:41 — McCluer North H.S., Florissant, Missouri
6:54 — Granite City
7:07 — Francis Howell North H.S., St Charles, Missouri
7:20 — Fort Zumwalt South H.S., St Peters, Missouri
7:33 — Fort Zumwalt North H.S., O’Fallon, Missouri
7:59 — Marquette H.S., Clarkson Valley, Missouri
8:12 — Francis Howell Central H.S., St Charles, Missouri
8:25 — Collinsville — Hello … Goodbye
8:38 — Belleville East, Belleville — Which Witch
8:51 — Rockwood Summit H.S., Fenton, Missouri
9:04 — Edwardsville
9:25 — O’Fallon Township, O’Fallon — The Missing Piece


The band from Fort Zumwalt North High School in O’Fallon, Missouri, was named grand champion of the festival and won caption trophies for the best music, visual, and auxiliary in Class 3A, which wasn’t even the highest class (4A). The full recap for Classes 3A and 4A is available, as is the full recap sheet for Classes 1A and 2A.

A summary of the Metro East Marching Classic is available on Illinois Marching Online.

37th Jamboree, Palos Hills (Stagg High School), 3:30

Schedule of Bands

3:30 — Providence Catholic, New Lenox — What Do I Desire?
3:45 — Wheaton Warrenville South, Wheaton — Recess
4:00 — Dwight D Eisenhower, Blue Island — Suspicious Minds
4:15 — Herscher — The Garden of the Heart
4:30 — Morris Community, Morris — Dis(appear)

5:00 — Brother Rice/Mother McAuley, Chicago — We Interrupt this Broadcast
5:15 — Evergreen Park — Destination: AFRICA
5:30 — Argo, Summit — Scheherazade
5:45 — Fremd, Palatine — Pandora’s Box
6:00 — Reavis, Burbank — The Music of Carlos Santana
6:15 — Glenbard West, Glen Ellyn — The Music of Billy Joel

7:00 — Bolingbrook — Mirror Image
7:15 — Waubonsie Valley, Aurora — The Devil in the White City
7:30 — Huntley — GrooveBox
7:45 — Oswego — Illusions
8:00 — Carl Sandburg, Orland Park — Those We Don’t Speak Of
8:15 — Joliet West, Joliet — Chasing Shadows
8:30 — Plainfield East, Plainfield — Under the Bed
8:45 — Plainfield Central, Plainfield — The Sleeper and the Spindle
9:00 — Oak Park/River Forest, Oak Park — Phat Tuesday
9:15 — Romeoville — Neo-Gyptian
9:30 — A.A. Stagg, Palos Hills — For All Mankind


Waubonsie Valley High School was named grand champion, according to the full recap sheet. The band also won the caption trophy for the best auxiliary in Class 3A.

A summary of the show is available on Illinois Marching Online.

3rd marching band competition, Sullivan High School, 4:20

Schedule of Bands

4:20 — Heritage, Broadlands — Back to the 80s
4:40 — Wesclin, Trenton
5:00 — Unity, Tolono
5:20 — Paris Cooperative, Paris

6:20 — Mt Zion
6:40 — Paxton-Buckley-Loda, Paxton
7:00 — Charleston — Star Wars
7:20 — Monticello
7:40 — Sullivan


The band from Monticello High School was named grand champion at the Sullivan festival, according to the full recap sheet. The band also took all caption trophies in Class 2A (music, visuals, general effect, percussion, and auxiliary).

A summary of the festival is available on Illinois Marching Online.

Other noteworthy performances

Band Day at the U of I

The following bands are expected to participate in Band Day at the University of Illinois and march out onto the historic field of Memorial Stadium during halftime of Saturday evening’s game between the University of Illinois and the Tar Heels of the University of North Carolina.

Band Day, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 6:30 game time

Scheduled to Appear

A-C Central, Ashland
Argenta-Oreana, Argenta
Bismarck-Henning, Bismarck
Crete-Monee, Crete
Fieldcrest, Minonk
Gardner-South Wilmington, Gardner
Georgetown-Ridge Farm, Georgetown
Mt Vernon Township, Mt Vernon
Reed-Custer, Braidwood
Round Lake
St Joseph-Ogden, St Joseph

Lincoln-Way Marching Band premiere season

Finally, the music programs at the three remaining high schools in Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210 combined forces and made a new marching band. The group will present a “community preview” on Saturday, September 10, at Lincoln-Way Central High School (map), 1801 East Lincoln Highway, New Lenox.

The new Lincoln-Way Marching Band will be the first time the district has put just one marching band on the field since before Lincoln-Way East split off of Central in the 2001-02 school year. Later in the decade, Lincoln-Way North was added in Frankfort and Lincoln-Way West in New Lenox, but North closed its classrooms in June, with most of the school’s students transferring to East to finish high school.

That provided the perfect opportunity to combine the marching bands into a single performing unit, and they’ll put it on display Saturday at the community preview. The band’s show is entitled “ReNew.”

“It will be a challenge, but a good challenge,” the Daily Southtown quoted Bert Johnson, the music chair at East and one of the marching band’s directors, as saying. “By combining, we can do things we could not do as individuals. … We decided to keep them all together and give everyone the same experience, so they would not have to worry about missing out on anything at another school. We thought it would be worse if students didn’t participate at all.”

A festival in Grayslake on Sunday

Dwight D Eisenhower High School in Blue Island was named grand champion at the North Knights Marching Festival at Grayslake North High School on September 11 and also won caption trophies for best percussion and best auxiliary in Class 2A. The grand championship marks the first time the marching band from the school was so named at any marching band festival. The band’s show, entitled “Suspicious Minds,” includes music from Mozart’s Requiem in D Minor (K. 626), from composer Béla Bartók, and the title track by Elvis Presley.

The full recap sheet is available, and a summary of the festival is posted on Illinois Marching Online.

Paul Katula
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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