Saturday’s marching band contests will further narrow down the pool of the best high school bands in Indiana.
Local bands will compete this weekend at Indiana State School Music Association’s regional marching band contests. From the 127 bands that compete in regionals Saturday, only 80 will continue on to semistate competition Oct. 27, according to ISSMA. The top 10 bands in each class at each competition Saturday will advance.
Memorial director Kurt Weimer said that though the Charger Command had a successful last weekend with its first win in eight years, every weekend’s performance needs to stand on its own.
“We talk about every season being a new season, but really, every weekend is a new weekend,” he said.
Class C bands Fairfield and NorthWood and class A band Penn will compete Saturday at Lafayette Jefferson High School, 1801 S. 18th St., Lafayette. Class B bands Northridge, Goshen, Elkhart Central, Concord and Elkhart Memorial will compete at Chesterton High School, 2125 S. 11th St., Chesterton.
Entrance to the regional events are $7 for adults and $5 for students and preschoolers.
Last year, regionals ended three local bands’ journeys toward the state competition, though in 2010, all Elkhart County bands continued on.
“Nothing’s ever a given because you’re judging art,” Goshen band director Tom Cox said.
“You need to train your kids that as long as you play your best, I’m happy,” he said. “All you can control is yourself.”
Local class B bands all play late in the evening Saturday, so likely won’t have the early morning start that sometimes comes with contests away from Elkhart County.
Being in a bus for the hour-and-a-half trip it takes local schools to get to Chesterton, the northern class B site, brings its own dynamic to a competition day.
Memorial’s Weimer said that he talks to students about staying focused during the ride. Once arriving in Chesterton, they’ll take time to stretch out the stiffness from what he said his staff calls “bus body.” That’s not an issue when they’re traveling to nearby schools.
Bands earned spots in the regionals by earning a gold placing at district contests Sept. 29. This past Saturday, competitive bands had a week off from ISSMA competition. Most competed in invitational contests within the state.
Goshen earned third place in its class and placed eighth overall at the Band of America regional in Pontiac, Mich. Band of America is a national competition program. Memorial took first in class B at the Homestead Marching Band Invitational Saturday, while Central took second place. Penn’s marching band took first in class A at Homestead’s invitational. NorthWood took second place in its class at the Plymouth High School invitational. Other bands’ staff members did not return calls about last weekend’s results.
Local bands’ performance times are listed below. For complete schedules visit www.issma.net.
Northern Indiana class C and class A bands will compete at Lafayette Jefferson High School.
11:26 a.m. — Fairfield
1:23 p.m. — NorthWood
2:54 p.m. — Class C awards
8:32 p.m. — Penn
8:45 p.m. — Class A awards
Northern Indiana class D and class B bands will compete at Chesterton High School, which is in the Central Time Zone. These performance times are listed in Central Time.
6:35 p.m. — Northridge
7:01 p.m. — Goshen
7:14 p.m. — Elkhart Central
7:53 p.m. — Concord
8:06 p.m. — Elkhart Memorial
8:19 p.m. — Class B awards