For the second year in the row, the Rockford High School marching band won the grand champion award at the 25th annual Otsego High School Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 25. Twenty-three high schools performed in this year’s competition with Rockford taking first overall with a score of 93.3 out of 100 possible points. Rockford also won best in class AA for music, color guard and drum major performances. This event was a scholastic marching band competition. Each band is judged on music performance, music effect, marching performance and visual effect. The following schools placed first in their respective classes: • Class A, Byron Center, 89.7 • Class BB, Gull Lake, 81.4 • Class B, Plainwell, 83.1 • Class C, Newaygo, 83.3 • Class D, Gobles, 74.0 “I thought the kids did a great job Saturday night,” said Brian Phillips, Rockford band director. “We have a strong base for our show. Our job now is to build—we have much to add—and refine—we have much to clean—as we finish the program!” The band now begins their competitive bid to qualify for the Michigan Competing Band Association (MCBA) state championship at Detroit’s Ford Field on November 6. In order to qualify, bands must compete in at least two MCBA-sanctioned contests and place among the 11 highest scoring bands in its flight. Rockford has made the state finals every year since joining the MCBA and placed third at last year’s championship. Rockford has three competitions remaining on their schedule, and all are MCBA-sanctioned events. To help with program costs for all age groups in the Rockford band program, including the high school’s upcoming performance at Walt Disney World over Christmas break, the Rockford band parents are selling raffle tickets for a chance to win a new 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. Tickets are $25 each or five for $100, and are available at any home football game, through any student in the Rockford band program, or at Kool Chevrolet on Plainfield Ave. in Grand Rapids. The drawing is scheduled for Rockford’s homecoming football game on October 15. For more information, visit the Rockford band’s website at www.rockfordbands.org.