Outstanding high school marching bands from 20 states will compete in the nation’s most prominent marching band championship, Music for All’s Bands of America Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis Nov. 14-16. Bands will compete from Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.
The 44th-annual Bands of America Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha, culminates the 2019 Bands of America season that begin in September with a total of 23 championships from coast-to-coast featuring more than 130,000 teen student performers.
Bands of America is a program of Music for All, headquartered in Indianapolis. The national championship event will feature 90 high school marching bands in two days of preliminary competition. Thirty bands from Thursday and Friday’s preliminary competition will advance to Saturday’s Semi-Finals. The top 12 scoring bands on Saturday will move on to the evening Finals competition, where the Grand National Champion will be named.
Music for All is about building leaders and celebrating teachers. Foremost, Grand Nationals is an educational performance experience. A panel of nationally-recognized music educators and marching arts experts will evaluate the performing bands, offering recorded comments to help the music educators continue to improve their ensembles, in addition to the ranking and rating on a national level.
With more than 1.5 million music students impacted by Music for All’s programs since 1975, Bands of America Championships are a celebration of music education at its finest, showcasing excellence, teamwork, and leadership. In addition to the performances, Grand Nationals includes an Expo, a student leadership workshop, and special events, like the Future Music Educators Experience. Tens of thousands of participants and spectators are expected to attend, with thousands more watching the event’s live stream on FloMarching.com.
In addition to Grand Nationals, the Bands of America Indianapolis Super Regional was also recently at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 25-26.
“Bands of America Championships are programs that support Music for All’s mission to create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all,” according to Eric L. Martin, President and CEO of Music for All. “Active experiences in music and the arts are integral to providing students with a well-rounded education, and the Grand National Championships are a pinnacle experience for the bands. The performances of students at the Bands of America Grand Nationals showcase the results that come from the dedication and teamwork necessary for the achievement of excellence, on the performance field and in life beyond. Bands of America events advocate for maintaining and growing our national commitment to music and arts education, with the student performers making the case in the most visible, artistic, and entertaining way possible, something each and every American should witness and experience.”
The Grand National Championships preliminary competition begins on Thursday, Nov. 14 at 9:15 a.m. and will conclude at 10 p.m. The preliminary competition resumes on Friday, Nov. 15 at 8 a.m., and concludes at 8 p.m., with an exhibition performance by the Spartan Marching Band of Michigan State University, followed by the awards ceremony. Gates will open for the Semi-Finals competition on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 6:30 a.m., with performances beginning at approximately 7 a.m., and will conclude at 5:30 p.m. Gates open for the Finals competition on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m., with performances beginning at 8 p.m. All times are tentative pending the final schedule of performing bands. Current times will be listed at marching.musicforall.org.
Fifteen Indiana bands, including Avon High School, Carmel High School, Center Grove High School, Columbus North High School, Fishers High School, Greenfield Central High School, Homestead High School, Ben Davis High School, Floyd Central High School, Lawrence Township, Lewis Cass High School, Brownsburg High School, East Central High School, Lake Central High School, and Monrovia High School will compete in the Grand National Championships.
Paige’s Music and Chops Percussion of Indianapolis is the Official Music Store of the event.
Four college bands will perform in exhibition: Texas A&M Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band, Missouri State University Pride Band, Jacksonville State University Marching Southerners, and the University of North Alabama Pride of Dixie.
Friday evening’s festivities will include the presentation of the Patrick John Hughes Parent/Booster Award, a national award honoring an outstanding band parent and supporter and named in honor of Louisville resident Patrick John Hughes, co-author with his son Patrick Henry of “I Am Potential.” This year’s Friday award ceremony will also include the first presentation of Music for All’s newly-established President’s Award, to Matthew B. Carter, Vice President of Destination Development, Executive Director, Music Crossroads, and former Chairman of the Board of Music for All; Michael Fox, former Lucas Oil Stadium Director and Indianapolis Motor Speedway Senior Director of Facilities and Planning; and Barney Levengood, former Executive Director of the Capitol Improvement Board in Indianapolis.
Tickets are available for the Grand National Championships at Ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster by phone and at the Lucas Oil Stadium ticket office. Tickets for the four days of events range from $15 to $135. See all ticket prices at marching.musicforall.org. Children ages 10 and under are free for general admission seats. A $5 off any general admission ticket (individual Preliminaries and Semi-Finals) discount will be available at the gate for college students with an ID, spectators 11-18 years of age, military members and spouses (military ID required), and spectators age 62 and over.
About Music for All
Since 1975, Music for All has been a destination and set the standard for scholastic music ensemble performance and music education advocacy. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization, Music for All’s mission is to create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all. Music for All’s vision is to be a catalyst to ensure that every child in America has access and opportunity for active music making in his or her scholastic environment. Music for All’s advocacy efforts inspire and develop models and strategies for successful music programs, through programs like its Advocacy in Action Awards, the I-65 Corridor Project, and support of Indianapolis Public Schools, the Central Indiana Track Show Association, and Indiana State Fair Band Day, and programs like United Sound and Be Part of the Music. Music for All’s programs include more than 45 annual events, including the Bands of America Grand National Championships and Regional Championships for marching bands; the Music for All Summer Symposium camp for students and teachers; the Music for All National Festival for bands, orchestras, choirs, percussion and chamber ensembles; Affiliate Regional Music Festivals held across America; and national student honor ensembles including the Bands of America Honor Band that will march for the fifth time in the Rose Parade® in 2021.
Music for All efforts are supported through sponsorships, including current partnerships with National Presenting Sponsor: Yamaha Corporation of America; Official Uniform Sponsor: Fred J. Miller, Inc.; Official Student Travel Partner: Music Travel Consultants; Official Spirit Wear Sponsor: PepWear; Official Performance Equipment Sponsor: Wenger Corporation; Corporate Sponsors: Ball State University, Visit Indy and the City of Indianapolis, and Strategic Advocacy Partner: NAMM; Associate Sponsors: BAND the mobile app, DANSR, Director’s Showcase International, FloMarching, REMO, ScholarshipAuditions.com, Woodwind & Brasswind. Music for All is also supported by the Indiana Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; the Arts Council of Indianapolis and the City of Indianapolis; Ball Brothers Foundation; Lilly Endowment Inc.; George and Frances Ball Foundation; Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, Inc.; CMA Foundation; Central Indiana Community Foundation, Nicholas H. Noyes, Jr., Memorial Foundation, Inc.; and Arthur Jordan Foundation.