The Rockford High School Marching Band hosted its 27th annual Rockford Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 19.
Twenty-three high school bands from across the state participated in the event, a Scholastic Marching Band Competition. Each band performed a show and was judged on music performance, music effect, marching performance and visual effect.
Otsego High School took top honors in Class A, and also won the Grand Champion Award for the day with a total score of 88.3 out of 100 points. Godwin Heights High School placed first in Class B with 85.3, and Hartford High School was first in Class C with 81.2.
Rockford’s marching band performed in exhibition during the invitation and was also judged, although was not eligible to receive awards due to its role as host.
According to Patt Clement, president of the Rockford Band Parent Association, the exhibition gives the students an opportunity to receive valuable feedback from judges to further polish their performance.
“The students work so hard, starting in the previous spring and throughout most of the summer,” said Clement. “Most people just are not aware of how much work and practice this takes.”
The Rockford Invitational is the band’s major annual fundraiser, and this year was no exception with $19,500 in proceeds. More than 170 volunteers, primarily band parents, pitched in to help the invitational run smoothly.
Band director Brian Phillips is pleased with the turnout as well as the skill level Rockford’s own marching band has already attained.
“It’s always exciting to see these area bands perform year after year,” said Phillips. “It’s truly amazing to see the annual improvement of each organization.
“I am especially proud of the progress our Rockford band students have made this year! Their outstanding performance Saturday is a testament to the hard work they’ve put in to the early season.”
The band is competing in a total of four additional invitationals this fall, with an eye on qualifying for the Michigan Competing Band Association State Championship contest at Detroit’s Ford Field on November 7.
In order to qualify for state finals, bands must compete in at least two MCBA sanctioned contests and place among the 10 highest scoring bands in its flight. Rockford has made the state finals every year since joining the MCBA.
For more information on Rockford bands visit