Throughout the month of October, marching bands from all over the country will meet face-to-face to qualify for the Bands of America (BOA) National Championship taking place November 11 to 14 in Indianapolis. The most recent regional competition, considered of the most exciting of all 19 regional events leading up to the national competition, happened this past weekend October 16 and 17 in St. Louis. The St. Louis Super Regional brought together 64 bands from 15 states to challenge each other, with only 14 making it to the finals on Saturday evening, and even fewer finding their way to Indianapolis.
Out of all the bands that competed, Union City High School in Tennessee swept the competition in Class A, taking home accolades not only for first place but also "Outstanding Performance, "Outstanding Visual" and "Outstanding General Effect." In Class AA, it was Air Academy High School in Colorado crowned with first place prize, as well as recognition for Outstanding Performance, Visuals and General effect. Other honorable mentions for the weekend include first place winners in Class AAA, Bellevue West High School from Nebraska, and in Class AAAA, Broken Arrow High School in Oklahoma.
What made the weekend in St. Louis so exciting is that it is the only regional event that compares to the BOA National Championship in terms of diverse competition and audience draw. The annual National Championship, which is regarded as the top marching band competition in the U.S., features more than 90 bands from 21 states (including Hawaii and Alaska) and guest appearances from collegiate marching bands. Last year, 109 bands from 22 states competed, with guest performances by the U.S. Army Band, Illinois State University, Marian University, Tennessee State University and University of North Alabama.
The bands at the Edward Jones Dome in downtown St. Louis represented Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.