Top Marching Moments of 2009: Results

From the presidential inauguration and the debut of the first Major League Soccer band, the year 2009 was filled with historic moments for the marching arts. Enjoy our second annual top 10 marching moments.

10. WGI Winners: Many groups competing for WGI Guard and Percussion Championships made great accomplishments. These included Santa Clara Vanguard’s undefeated season; State of Art’s and OC Indoor’s debut and win; Pacifica High School percussion’s four-peat; and Los Alamitos percussion’s sweep.

9. Debut of the Sound Wave: Major League Soccer debuted its first marching band, the Sound Wave, to entertain fans at Seattle Sounders’ games. Comedian Drew Carey, an owner of the team, influenced the creation of the band.

8. Western Carolina Awarded Sudler: Western Carolina University won the 2009 Sudler Trophy. Created by the John Philip Sousa Foundation, the award has been given since 1982 but took a hiatus in 2008.

7. Troopers Comeback: For the first time in 23 years, the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps made finals in Drum Corps International (DCI) World Championship competition. Fred Morris also received Director of the Year award.

6. Avon on Top Again: The Avon (Ind.) High School Marching Band became the first group to consecutively win the Bands of America Grand National Championships in 18 years. Avon also won the WGI Scholastic World championships.

5. Carolina Crown Takes Second: For the first time ever, Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps placed in the top three at Drum Corps International World Championships.

4. The Blue Devils Win 13: The Blue Devils set records with its 13th championship. It’s also the first corps to win the World Class and Open Class in the same season.

3. Michael Jackson Tributes: The King of Pop’s death on June 25, 2009, spurred many marching bands to pay tribute. Among college bands, at least 50 groups performed Jackson’s music.

2. USC Performance With Radiohead at the Grammys: At the 51st Grammy Awards, 32 members of the University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band performed “15 Step” with Radiohead. Paste Magazine deemed the performance one of this decade’s “25 Best Live Moments on TV.”

1. Inauguration Parade: 108 groups (including 30 middle and high school bands and several all-age ensembles) out of 1,382 applicants welcomed President Barack Obama in one of the most anticipated presidential inaugurations. The Lesbian and Gay Band Association made history as the first lesbian or gay group to participate in an inaugural parade.

About the author

Christine Ngeo Katzman

Christine Ngeo Katzman has played the flute since the age of 8. She marched in the Northwestern University Marching Band, including the 1996 Rose Bowl and 1997 Citrus Bowl. She graduated cum laude from Northwestern with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1997. Since then, she has worked in the publishing industry as a writer and editor and helped launch Play Music, a magazine for recreational musicians, sponsored by American Music Group (now Music and Arts Center). In the summer of 2006, Christine worked at Yamaha where she interacted with staff and students in various marching bands and drum corps. Christine earned her MBA with honors from the University of Southern California in May 2007.

Jeff Coffin

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