HornRank Weights In on Best Bands

Have you ever wondered which high school bands are the best in the country? Franklin (Tenn.) High School band students Will Barnette and Jeremiah Wooten have created hornrank.com, which ranks the top 30 Bands of America (BOA) groups across the nation.

Barnette and Wooten decided to develop HornRank when they realized there was no consistent ranking system or detailed analysis for marching bands nationwide. Wooten says that BOA Grand Nationals scores are helpful, but some of the best BOA bands might not even go to the Grand Nationals competition.

Each band on HornRank is judged not only on their scores but also on the difficulty of each competition. “If you have a really inflated score at an event with not a lot of competition, that weighs less than winning a big competition,” Barnette says.

The biggest weight, however, is put on Grand Nationals. “Whoever wins [Grand Nationals] is our number one ranking every year without a doubt,” Barnette says. “We should put a premium on being at the biggest event.”

The website also includes a detailed description of each band. These descriptions came from a lot of scavenging through band websites and, in some cases, meeting with band members personally to find out more about their group. Wooten and Barnette also stay active on social media.

As of now, HornRank will only focus on BOA events; however, Wooten and Barnette hope that will change. “In the future, we might create regional subsites, possibly breaking it down into states,” Wooten says.

Right now, Wooten and Barnette’s goal is to have people visit their website. “We just want people to support the site by visiting it,” Barnette says. “If [people] like it, let us know through email or Twitter.”

Wooten adds that all knowledge on any bands is welcome. “If anyone reading [HornRank] is in one of the bands we talk about, and they know something … that hasn’t been published, they can share with us, so we can share with the world,” he says.

About author

Liz Neidich

Liz Neidich is a freelance writer for Halftime Magazine. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati (UC) in 2015 with a B.A. in creative writing, a B.A. in communications, and a certificate in journalism. She marched trumpet for five years in the Kenston High School Marching Band in Bainbridge, Ohio, and for three years in the UC Bearcat Marching Band. Liz currently serves as an Americorps VISTA on the communications and events team at CityLink Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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