The biggest weekend for marching band in Illinois is typically the second week, and this year is no different. In all, we know about eight festivals across the state, involving more than 120 high school marching band performances, according to Dan Balash at Illinois Marching Online.
The Bands of America circuit kicks off Saturday, with regional festivals at McEachern High School in Powder Springs, Georgia; at McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium in McAllen, Texas; and at Gateway High School in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. One Illinois band, Naperville North, is scheduled to perform at the regional contest in Monroeville at 11:15 AM. The band’s show is entitled “Mondrian: Hip to Be Square.”
Norwin High School, the festival’s grand champion, also won it in 2012 and 2013, and Kiski Area High School, which was featured on these pages in our multi-part special coverage of Bands of America’s 40th year, was named grand champion in 2014 and 2015. Even before this festival came to Monroeville, these two bands scored a grand championship each in 2010 and 2011, when the festival took place in North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.
The story we wrote about Kiski Area, entitled “Marching Competition Is A Head Fake At Kiski Area,” is the single most read story on this website, having been viewed more than 19,300 times on November 22 alone.
Naperville North took home a trophy as the third-place band in Class 4A. According to our Bands of America Database of Champions, which has loaded most of the trophies awarded by the organization, this is the first trophy for Naperville North at a BOA event since they won the same trophy at the regional festival in Ypsilanti, Michigan, on October 10, 2009.
Festivals in the state of Illinois on Saturday number eight.
All festivals described on this page take place on Saturday, September 17, and all bands are from Illinois high schools, except where noted. Voxitatis will update this page with results and any additional information as it becomes available over the next few days.