The Rockford High School marching band took third place in the Michigan Competing Band Association’s (MCBA) Flight I state championship at Detroit’s Ford Field on Saturday, Nov. 7. The band’s exceptional performance of “The Four Freedoms,” a musical composition based on Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1941 famous speech, received a score of 84.9, Rockford’s highest score and ranking ever at the MCBA championship. “It’s been an incredible season right from the start! The staff knew we had a great show. It was simply up to what the kids were going to do with it. They’ve worked so hard to get here. They should be proud!” said Brian Phillips, Rockford marching band director. Four flights of competition comprise MCBA’s championship contest with 10 high school bands from across the state competing in each flight. The judging system for the event places an emphasis on music as the most important aspect of the performance, with marching as the presentation and visual enhancement. The scoring system places 60 percent of value on music, and 40 percent on visual performance. At the same time, 60 percent of the score is within the area of general effect and 40 percent within the performance area, though it all boils down to precision of the material performed. Rockford’s marching season came to a close with a banquet on Monday, Nov. 9. Several students received varsity letters, awards and recognition, and Phillips thanked the many parents and staff who helped make the season a success. Dr. Michael Shibler, superintendent of Rockford Public Schools, also made an appearance and praised the band members. “I could not miss this opportunity to say congratulations,” said Shibler. “You do not know how proud we are of what you’ve accomplished. The bar has been set high.” The band now moves into concert season with the wind ensemble’s brass section performing at the annual lighting ceremony in downtown Rockford’s Peppler Park on Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 5:45 p.m., and at the Cannonsburg Christmas celebration on Monday, Nov. 30 at 6:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.rockfordbands.org.