Today brings first ISSMA band contest

ISSMA marching band contests get started this weekend with the district contest.

Posted on Sept. 29, 2012 at 1:00 a.m.

They’ve been competing the past three weeks, but when local high school marching bands take the field today, Sept. 29, band members may feel a little more anxious or excited.

“I try to go in and say it’s just another contest, but you know it’s not,” said Fairfield’s marching band director Andrew Muth.

Local competitive high school marching bands will compete today in Indiana State School Music Association marching band district contests.

The events are the first of the season where bands’ performances determine if they continue on to the next contest. At the district level, bands must reach a predetermined score to continue on to the regional contests on Oct. 13, according to ISSMA. The contests also bring strict regulations, such as where bands are and are not allowed to play, that results in deductions to bands’ scores if not followed.

Concord, Elkhart Central, Elkhart Memorial, Goshen, Fairfield, Northridge and Penn marching bands will compete at the district contest held at Concord High School Saturday. NorthWood will compete at the district contest at Homestead High School in Fort Wayne. Admission at each event is $7 for adults and $5 for students and preschoolers, according to ISSMA.

For some bands, this week also brought the transition from learning their show to working on improving their performance.

“Once you’re done teaching the show, you can focus on cleaning the show” and working on the details, said Kurt Weimer, Memorial’s marching band director.

Saturday’s district performance will be the first that Memorial will perform its complete show at a contest, he noted.

“We’ve definitely improved every week,” which is most directors’ goal, he said.

Scott Spradling said that, at least with Concord’s band, the directing staff works to take that improvement down to the individual level.

“This is an educational environment,” Spradling said. “So, we’re trying to push the students to meet their individual potential.”

He noted, though, that with so many quality local bands in class B this year, those contests promise to be exciting. Elkhart County class B bands are Central, Memorial, Concord, Goshen and Northridge.

“We’ve had some years that are kind of just dull,” he said, “but this year it’s really exciting.”

Several bands directors credited their bands’ quality thus far not only to the students in band and the directing staffs, but to students’ parents.

“It’s a team effort,” Tom Cox, Goshen’s band director, said.

Goshen’s season has been going very well so far, but Cox noted that the a band can always improve.

“There’s always something to work on,” he said.


NorthWood will perform at 2:15 p.m. in class C at Homestead High School Saturday. Awards for class C are set for 2:41 p.m.

Here is the schedule for local bands competing in the district contest at Concord.

12:05 p.m. – Fairfield

12:18 p.m. – Class C and D awards

1:10 p.m. – Goshen

1:23 p.m. – Northridge

1:36 p.m. – Elkhart Memorial

2:02 p.m. – Elkhart Central

2:15 p.m. – Concord

3:07 p.m. – Class B awards

4:12 p.m. – Penn

5:17 p.m. – Class A awards


Saturday – District contests

Oct. 6 – Festival event, including Jimtown High School’s band

Oct. 13 – Regional contests

Oct. 27 – Semi-state contests

Nov. 3 – State contest at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis

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