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More than 30 bands compete in Whitewater

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Gazette Staff
October 19, 2008
— More than 30 high school marching bands beat their drums, blew their horns and twirled their flags, competing for top honors in the 24th annual Wisconsin School Music Association State Marching Band Championships held Saturday at Perkins Stadium on the UW-Whitewater campus.

“It’s really just a high-energy event,” said Kevin Thays, director of communications for the Wisconsin School Music Association.


For many of the marching bands, the state championships are the be-all, end-all of the marching season—the single-most important day when rival bands meet on the field and dial up their performances in front of a cheering crowd, he said.


Thays said the marching bands’ performances resemble bigger, longer and more rehearsed adaptations of the halftime shows they usually perform at high school football games.


The participating schools competed in four divisions based on enrollment. Each band performed for 15 minutes and then was evaluated by eight judges in the categories of music performance, visual performance, general effect, percussion and color guard.


The top three marching bands in each division received awards, as well as the best band in each of the five judging categories. Results of the competition were not available before press time Saturday night.


Three bands also played in the “festival” class, a non-competitive division created last year for bands to get feedback from judges without the pressure of competition.


The UW-Whitewater Warhawk marching band also took the field for two performances.



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