High School Marching Band Music
Bands of America (BOA), a division of Music for All, is an organization that promotes and organizes marching band competitions for high school students. Competitions include both Regional and Super Regional Championships as well as the Grand National Championships. The BOA Grand National Championships is considered the largest and most prestigious national marching band event available to high school marching bands. This annual three day competition is currently held in the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis with about 100 high school marching bands participating from around the country. More than 50, 000 participants and spectators attend the event annually. No performance qualifications are required to compete.
Bands of America places the weight of the numbers in the scoring system places 60% of the value on music and 40% on visual, and at the same time, 60% of the score is within the area of general effect and 40% within the Performance Area. The Music Performance scores (Individual & Ensemble) are averaged for 20%, as are the Visual Performance scores (Individual & Ensemble). The General Effect Music scores (20% each) are added together. The General Effect Visual score is also 20%.
In addition to marching band events, Music for All, Inc. organizes concert band festivals and symposia, musical and leadership clinics, as well as the Honor Band of America and the newly formed Jazz Band of America. One of the largest events of the year is the annual Summer Symposium, which offers a week of instruction from some of the most renowned musicians in the world. High school students from across the nation come together on the campus of Ball State University. The week includes camps for concert band, jazz band, percussion, marching band, colorguard, and the famous George N. Parks Drum Major Academy.
History of Grand National Championships
In 1976, the first Bands of America (originally founded in 1975 as "Marching Bands of America") marching band championship was held during the Summer National Championship in Whitewater, Wisconsin, as part of the Summer Workshop/Festival. Four years later, the first Grand National Championships (now commonly referred to as "Grand Nationals") was held at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida, which was won by the J. M. Tate High School.
Beginning in 1984, the organization officially changed its name to Bands of America. In 1984, the competition was moved to Indianapolis, Indiana's Hoosier Dome (later renamed the RCA Dome). Except for 1987 and 1988, when the Grand Nationals were held in the Pontiac Silverdome, the event has remained in Indianapolis.
In 2006 BOA merged with Music for All Foundation to create Music for All, Inc. Bands of America is used as the organization name for all marching band competitions through the Music for All, Inc.
With the start of the 2008 marching season, the Grand National Championships has been held in the Lucas Oil Stadium located immediately south of the former site of the RCA Dome. Fans and competitors who were previously thrilled by the sight of the dome's roof appearing on the city's skyline were disappointed to learn of its deflation and subsequent demolition which allowed for the expansion to the Indiana Convention Center and the construction of Lucas Oil Stadium. The expansion has ultimately benefited the competition's student workshops and various demonstrations held there during the Grand National Championships.
The Music for All/Bands of America headquarters is located in downtown Indianapolis at the historic Union Station. BOA's headquarters were previously located in Schaumburg, Illinois and Arlington Heights, Illinois before relocating to Indianapolis in 2003.