Frequently Asked Questions
"Why" enroll in a Bands of America Championship?
Bands of America fall championships are “positively life-changing experiences.” Our events are designed to place a focus on the positive aspects and benefits of performance. We choose venues and evaluators that are second to none while providing an atmosphere that is positive and electric. Bands of America Fall Championships are appropriate for every band, whether you choose to compete or not.
We promise you:
- An adjudication panel that has the education of your students foremost in their minds.
- A professionally-run event that offers you and your students the most worry-free, supportive environment possible.
- Pre-event information that will take the surprises out of contest day.
- A staff that will do everything possible to serve you.
- Adjudicator DVDs and scoresheet commentary that you can use as an educational tool for your band's growth.
- A high-quality, high camera video of your performances delivered at the event.
- Personalized certificate and participation segment (on-site) for every band member.
- Participation award for every band; ratings, class placement, highest achievement, and finalist awards.
- Events that offer your students the chance to witness dozens of the finest high school band performances in the nation.
- A positive atmosphere and knowledgeable audience that provide encouragement and support and promote camaraderie.
Who can enroll in a Bands of America event?
All high school bands are eligible to enroll in BOA Regional, Super Regional and Grand National marching band championships. BOA defines a high school band as one in which all participating members are registered at the same high school, or are students from feeder elementary, junior high and middle schools; or one where members are part of a single band with a recognized joint program and membership in such band is the only high school marching program offered to students. All events are open on a first-come, first-served basis. Bands may choose competitive or non-competitive participation. Bands do not have to enroll in a Regional Championship to enroll in Grand Nationals. Applications must be signed by both the director and the school principal or superintendent and must be accompanied by the Participation Cooperative Fee.
Enrollment at each Regional is limited to 30 bands; Grand Nationals is limited to 90 bands.
How are performance times scheduled?
Performance times are scheduled based on a random draw. Applications received on or before a designated postmark date each year (Jan. 31 for 2011) are eligible for the initial draw, after which performance times are based on postmark of application, with the earlier postmark receiving the later performance time. If more applications are received by the designated postmark date than spots in a show, a Bands of America point system is used to determine which bands are eligible for the initial draw. Points are allotted based on band participation in Bands of Aamerica events over the previous four years. The point system does not affect performance times in any other way. A returning previous year's champion band is given its choice of prelim performance time.
What is the event format of the Grand National Championships?
The Grand National Championship is a three-day, Preliminary, Semi-Finals, Finals event. Forty-five bands perform in each of the two separate Prelims contests, balanced with like numbers of bands from each class. Thirty bands then advance to Semi-Finals with a formula that ensures inclusion of representatives of each of the four classes and the top scoring bands from the two separate Prelims contests and the overall event. (See Procedures and Adjudication Handbook for specifics). The top 12 scoring bands from Semi-Finals, regardless of class, advance to Saturday evening’s finals.
In addition to the competing band performances, Grand Nationals includes an Expo, exhibition performances, Student Leadership Workshop and other special events.
What is the event format of the Regional Championships
Bands of America Regional Championships are complete championships and educational events in their own right, not qualifying events for the Grand Nationals. Thirty bands typically perform in preliminary competition (up to 35 bands may be accepted into select Regionals), with ten bands advancing to the evening Finals. Events that do not have 18 bands enrolled by May 13 are subject to cancellation by Bands of America.
How are the bands "classified?"
Bands are classified by school enrollment, grades 10-12 only. Under our four-class system, Class A is 600 students and less, Class AA is 601-1220, Class AAA 1221-1750, and Class AAAA is 1751 and above. The new classification system was adopted by BOA in 2009 following a presentation of research on the enrollment of past participation at BOA to the Music for All Programmatic Advisory Committee, and it is intended to provide better enrollment balance at events. The system will be re-evaluated every three years. For purposes of determining enrollment, your principal must certify enrollment and consider all those students in the grades 10-12 population as reported on fall state FTE reports.
How are performances adjudicated?
Bands receive recorded evaluation and scoresheets from each judge. Each band also receives a Division Rating based on score. Bands of America utilizes a criteria reference adjudication system. Adjudicators use the criteria reference to assign their rating and ranking of each band.
It is Bands of America's position that the music is the more important aspect of the performance, with marching as the presentation and visual enhancement. Similarly, more emphasis is placed on general effect than on fine-line perfection.
Consequently, the point allotment is as follows:
|20||Music Performance Individual (on the field)|
|20||Music Performance Ensemble (from a vantage point in the upper stands or box)|
|20||Visual Performance Individual (on the field)|
|20||Visual Performance Ensemble (from a vantage point in the upper stands or box)|
|40||Music General Effect (two judges with 20 points each, added for 40 points total)|
|20||Visual General Effect|
Music Performance scores are averaged for a total of 20 possible points, Visual Performance scores are averaged–possible 20 points. The Music and Visual averages are added to the G.E. Music total (40) and G.E. visual score (20) for a possible total of 100 points. Any penalties are then deducted for the final score.
Music for All believes that its Bands of America Adjudication System is a model for successful teaching and evaluation. If you would like to use the Bands of America adjudication sheets for your show or circuit, they are available for licensing. See License Agreement at the end of the Rules & Procedures Handbook or call Bands of America at 800.848.BAND for more information.
Bands of America's Rules & Procedures Handbook
BOA's Rules and Procedures Handbook is sent to all bands who enroll in Regional and Grand National events. It includes sample scoresheets and detailed evaluation criteria designed to support your teaching. If you would like to use the BOA adjudication sheets for your show, or would like a copy of the rules book and are not enrolled in a BOA event, there is a License agreement and $50 User fee plus $10 per participating band, up to $300 total. Call Music for All for more information, 317.636.2263.
Download PDF version of the copyrighted Bands of America Rules & Procedures Handbook.
What is the Ticket Cooperative Fee?
There is no entry fee, per se, for the Bands of America Championships. Instead, bands participate in a Ticket Cooperative program by which they pay a discounted cost for Championships tickets. With the BOA Regional Championship Participation Cooperative program, each band receives an allotment of tickets or day passes, along with 25 field passes and an Instant DVD copy of their preliminary performance (bands that perform in Finals will also receive an instant copy of their Finals performance).
See the fall information brochure for details on the Ticket Cooperative Fee and inclusions.
What is the policy on electronic recording devices in the stadium?
Video or audio recording equipment are not allowed in the stadium.
Any still type camera may be used. Family, friends and fans may take still photos of BOA events for personal use only. The images may not be sold or otherwise distributed, without the written permission of Music for All. Any still camera (making film or digital still pictures) is allowed into and may be used from the spectator seating area of any venue. Cameras (of any kind) may not be used on the field. People with field passes or name badges must go into the stands to take digital or film pictures. Tripods or other similar equipment that may obstruct the view or path of travel of others in seating areas are also not allowed.
Music for All takes care to comply with copyright laws and requires compliance by those who participate in our events. Some have said that our copyright requirements are strict, however, Music for All has no copyright requirements. Music for All only insists that its participants demonstrate that they have complied with the law by providing evidence of written permission from copyright owners to perform custom musical arrangements. By doing so, we can also meet our own obligations to acquire live performance, mechanical and synchronization rights.
Typically, musical arrangements may not be duplicated or recorded in any form by the user, without permission from the copyright owner. Under the copyright laws, the venue where a performance is held is responsible and liable for any copyright violation in its facility. Venues, in turn, pass those obligations on to Music for All. What this means is that almost all stadiums require Music for All to guarantee compliance with all copyright laws. Music for All is held accountable.
All bands in Bands of America Championship events are required to provide evidence of written permission for custom arrangements from copyright holders. Music for All, in turn, secures the necessary live performance and synchronization (video) rights for the live performances and recordings made by us.