Band Competition 101

The William Mason High School Marching Band competes on two circuits.

The Mid-States Band Association (MSBA) is a regional group of high schools from Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.  The Marching Band usually attends 2-3 MSBA competitions each year. At these events, which are hosted at local high schools, each band will perform once.  The Marching Band also competes in the MSBA Championship that is hosted at Mason in November each year.  The Mason Invitational, hosted by Mason, is also an MSBA event, but Mason performs in exhibition and is not part of the competition. 

The Bands of America (BOA) is a national program of Music for All.  BOA organizes the fall championships across the country, including Regional, Super Regional, and Grand National Championships. BOA Regional Championships draw approximately 30 bands and are one day events with a preliminary competition in the morning and afternoon and a finals competition in the evening.  They are held at large high school or college stadiums.  BOA Super Regional Championships are usually two day events held at world class venues (usually domed stadiums) and draw approximately 60 bands.  Preliminary performances are spread over two days with finals held the evening of day two.  The Marching Band attends a BOA Regional and/or Super Regional competition each year.

The culmination of each performance season is the BOA Grand National Championships held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis in November.  This event draws approximately 90 bands from across the United States and is widely recognized as the premier marching band competition in the nation.  The three day event begins with preliminary competitions held on Thursday and Friday.  Approximately 35 bands selected for semifinals will perform beginning Saturday morning.  The top 12 bands selected for finals will perform Saturday evening.  A Grand Nationals Primer with more detailed information is available here.

At competitions, each band is given a 15 minutes time slot to set up, perform, and exit the field.


Follow this link to learn about how marching band competitions are judged:  About Judging

Link to MBSA adjudication (link).

Link to BOA adjudication (link).