One of the primary jobs of a college marching band is to support its athletics teams. What if instead of supporting the competitors from the sidelines, they were the competitors themselves? The National Collegiate Marching Band Championships and Festival aims to make this dream a reality.
Bob Lane, president of the new organization, is no stranger to marching band, having been a member of the University of South Carolina’s group as a college student. “Coming into university band there, I had no idea that college bands did not compete,” Lane says. “I was shocked.’”
So when the mayor of Columbia, South Carolina, Stephen K. Benjamin, came to Lane recently in search of an event to bring notoriety to the locale, Lane knew exactly what to suggest, and the new marching band festival was soon born.
Other events that celebrate college bands include Vivace Productions’ similarly named Collegiate Marching Band Festival and the Honda Battle of the Bands.
The inaugural National Collegiate Marching Band Championships and Festival will take place Dec. 1 to 3, 2017, in Spirit Communications Park. There will be three categories of competition—corps style (under 200 winds), corps style (more than 200 winds), and show bands—with around five competitors in each category. So far, 13 bands from seven states have agreed to participate. To register your band, visit marchingchamps.com.—EM