The Rockford High School Marching Band (RHSMB) continued their history making streak in the national spotlight at the Bands of America (BOA) National Grand Championships held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, November 8-10, 2018. Following their back to back state championship win in Flight I on November 3 with their show “Amongst the Stars”, the band finished 14th in the nation following three days of competition.
In their sixth appearance at BOA, the marching Rams performed in preliminary competition on Thursday, November 8 for a spot in the semi-final round on Saturday. With a score of 86.700 in Class AAAA competition, the band took 13th place and was one of 37 bands out of the 108 bands in attendance to move on to semi-finals.
According to senior Drum Major Dwight Hua, “We were all so excited to make semis. We put our all into our semis performance and just had the best last run we could ever have. Lots of tears from the seniors for sure. It was just an unforgettable trip with the entire band family.”
Their final score of 86.650 fell just short of the chance to move forward as one of the 12 band in the finals round of competition. But this did not dampen the spirits of the band as they attended the final round of competition and cheered on the national grand champions, the Carmel High School Marching Band from Carmel, Indiana.
“Nationals was just a showcase of how much hard work we had all put in,” explained senior Drum Major Britney Nicholson. “Throughout the season it was so easy to pick out all the little things we could improve upon without spending much time reflecting on the progress we had made. Putting out two amazing runs of the show made us all realize just how special this season had been.”
Following their performance, RHS band director Brian Phillips only had praise for the students and their outstanding performances. BOA Grand National Championships is recognized as the pre-eminent marching band competition in the nation. Over 16,000 students took part in the three day event from 23 states across the nation.
“This weekend has been amazing- landing as the 14th band in the nation still hasn’t hit me. I can’t wait to see where this band goes!” exclaimed student Natalie Jones.
The RHSMB began competing at the national level in 2011 and their show “Reactivity” finished 22nd in their first appearance. On their return visit in 2012, “Calls from the Masai Mara” finished 19th overall.
The marching band will celebrate their victories at their annual banquet on November 20. The marching band will now split into four concert ensembles to preparing for the upcoming holiday collage concerts on December 7 and 8, 2018.