The Greatest High School Marching Band of Alltime

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The Greatest High School Marching Band of Alltime

Post by airons0678 » Sat Dec 13, 2003 10:52 pm

The Greatest High School Marching Band of Alltime

Bands of America 1993: A Ten Year Retrospect

By Alan R. Irons

It was ten years ago that a band from Spring, Texas won the 1993 Bands of America Grand National Championships. From then on this band has become somewhat of a legend in the high school marching band community. The 1993 Spring High School band is considered by many as "the best high school marching band of all time."

You may have seen pictures of Spring '93. In 1993 Bands of America used a picture of a mellophone player from the band for the cover of the BOA Grand National Championships video, and in 1995 (BOA's 20th Anniversary) BOA used a picture of three trumpet players from the band for the BOA Regional Championships program book and for the cover of the BOA Regional Championships videos. The pictures from both years show perfect posture in regards to straightness (head-to-toe), with perfect horn angles, perfect elbow angles, and PRESENCE. The 1995 picture shows three trumpet players that look exactly the same, as if one had copied one of the trumpet players and placed him next to him. The photographs of the band make them look like perfect robots. You could say they were a model for all bands that aim high. Indeed, Spring High School looked great on paper, but how did they look in the flesh? I admit this is my setback, that I did not see them live in 1993. Nevertheless, videotape is the next best thing. I have watched the Spring '93 show over and over again, and have yet to see a better performance live or recorded. Everything they did was fantastic. No, it was not just perfection that helped them was so much more. This group changed the image of high school band, and gained respect from both inside and outside the marching band community. But do not take my word for it! If you research the vast archives of (usenet), the Bands of America forums, and other related high school marching band discussion groups, you will find others who agree with my claims. Sure, there are some who think Lassiter '98 or Plymoth-Canton '99 are the all time best...but Spring was first, and the units of the future had to reckon with that standard.

But 1993 was not just about Spring High was the year a handful of students from Jackson, Mississippi beat a gigantic high school marching band from Duncanville, was the year Lake Park High School Marching Band from Roselle, Illinois had an amazing performance perhaps overlooked because of Spring High School's history making was the year the Plymouth-Canton Educational Park High School Marching Band continued to redefine the high school marching band as "entertainment," with their electronics and Broadway-like was the year the defending Bands of America Grand National Champions, the Centerville Jazz Band, failed to defend their title well enough, yet was still in contention for the top spot. I will now do a videotape analysis of these six groundbreaking high school marching bands (in performance order):

Spring High School
Spring, TX
Repertoire: Music of Paul Hindemith: Symphony in B flat, and 3rd and 4th movements from Symphonic Metamorphosis
Comments: Before the band is announced, you can hear the sound check, "Test! Test!" This sound check with forever be etched in time, because it reflects the perfect, and because it reflects the future. The garb of the marching members were black and grey: white plumes, black shakos with a standard silver sunburst, grey tops with silver buttons on the front and shoulder wings, a black sparkling sash, black gauntlets, black pants, and black shoes. (Their look was incredibly minimalist, yet incredible effective.) I have not seen a band seem to own the field like this one. This band seems to explode with the first few measures of music they perform. The confidence of this group is astounding. The first part of their show is a feast for the eyes and the ears. Their drill is extremely, extremely difficult. When the first part of their show ends, you know they will win, but this great show goes on and on. Note that the camera closeup of one color guard member reveals the ultimate in discipline: she is motionless, except for her eyes that watch the drum major. The flute soloist that begins the second movement (and plays a fine role in the rest of the show) is famous. (People write about her today!) The dangerous blind passthroughs are utilized max. The second movement is like a whirlwind that gets stronger and stronger. The band gets into a triangle formation that morphs into what looks like a three-sided chinese-star formation. The audience seems to love this show with a passion. The third movement, has a clarinet solo, a concert baritone solo, a concert french horn solo, and another clarinet solo. The moment when the flute soloist starts playing and there is applause is stunning. It was as if this show was meant to win. The final movement has a trombone section that knows no limits. I love how the camera close-up of the upper body of the saxophones is focused on, and when they move one sax girl diagonally behind another sax girl uses her eyes only to keep the spacing between them even. Plus, it is neat to watch their upper bodies barely move as their lower bodies move. (The camera, focusing on the upper bodies, really shows how this works.) The end of the show is monstrously powerful musically, and though the last two drill moves are not much to brag about, the last two drill moves do seem to be flawless.
Score: 96.55 (1st Place)

Lake Park High School
Roselle, IL
Repertoire: Fiesta Roma
Comments: The musicians of this band looked like a lighter version of the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps, with lots of blue and white to them. In a fanfare type movement, a square formation morphs into a rhombus formation. Music switches from loud and harsh, to soft and sweet, and then back again. A vocal soloist who looks italian, and who has a microphone attached to his uniform, sings in operatic italian. He sings with unparalleled expression. At one moment he creates more drama as he pulls out a handkerchief from under his uniform, and the audience responds with applause as he pats his forehead with it. (What incredible showmanship!) At the high point of his solo, the band goes crazy with sound, and the audience goes nuts with them. Oh wow, a marching member appears to have a step size of 3 (or 4) to 5 going from the far size of side B of the field to side A. Had Spring not been at this show, I think think this band would have won hands down. The end of this show is like a discharge from a double-barrel sawed off shot gun. The impact is awesome.
Score: 95.25 (2nd Place)

Plymouth-Canton Educational Park High School
Canton, MI
Repertoire: Jesus Christ Superstar
Comments: This band goes all out in theatrics. Most of the first part of this show is made up of percussion and synthesized sound. This show is quite dark at times. The evil laughter from Roman henchmen is certainly effective. The "I Don't Know How to Love Him" ballad grabs hold of you tight and does not let go. Plymouth-Canton Educational Park High School know how to use electronics effectively, and boy did they do it this time. In fact, they were one of the first bands to bring this type of sound to a new plane.
Score: 92.65 (5th Place)

Duncanville High School
Duncanville, TX
Repertoire: Versanitis 1, Rocky Point Holiday, Slava, and Armenian Dances
Comments: You do not understand the enormousness of this group until the marching members break away from their pods and spread themselves across the field. Their sound must have been ear splitting. Their size seemed to hamper how they moved around. There were lots of curved lines. Nice direction of motion pass-through by the auxiliary. A hint of Leonard Bernstein's On the Waterfront was heard, and then Slava which was not, I repeat, not an easy piece of music. When I went to school at Jersey City State College (now New Jersey City University), I played in the symphonic band under the direction of Nicholas Cerrato. Well, Mr. Cerrato was a big, big fan of Bernstein. (In fact, I he may have even played under the direction of Leonard Bernstein). Mr. Cerrato had us play Slava and even we (a college level band) had a tough time with it! Duncanville handled Slava very nicely, although most of the difficult parts were played halted. Also, they did not yell, "Sla-va!" at the end, but that is a personal preference. Overall, this band did a fine job, but were left in the dust by a tiny, tiny band known as Jackson Academy.
Score: 88.65 (9th Place)

Centerville High School
Centerville, OH
Repertoire: From Earth, Wind, and Fire, including In the Sone, Got to Get You Into My Life, and Faces
Comments: The auxiliary seems to tease the crowd before and after the show. The drum majors were the epitome of cool, dressed in all black with oversized white suit jackets. Chuck Henson, also known as "The Voice," does not announce this band as he announces the other bands (like "The Spring High School Marching Band," or "The Lake Park High School Marching Band.") Instead, he announces this bands as, "The Centerville Jazz Band." Also, "Jazz" is scripted on the shakos they wear. This band specialized in jazz, which is interesting, difficult, and admirable. Two keyboard synths get this band rolling. The trumpets explode their sound like all great jazz trumpet sections, and the trombones sound quite mature. Saxophones, what can I say? The first saxophone solo is nailed. The peashooter trombone soloist is utterly amazing. If you want to know how to march saxophone "properly," check this band out. The Centerville sax section does not mess around, with matched to the max sound, and perfect shoulder angles. The flutes have a neat soli where they play and dance at the same time. (Who said a flute can not play jazz?) The auxiliary claps their hands as the drum beats get bigger and bigger, and then...the FINALE!
Score: 94.25 (3rd Place)

Jackson Academy High School
Jackson, MS
Repertoire: See the World, In Her Name, and Minuano
Comments: A tarp stretched from 35 yard line to 35 yard line. The design of the tarp was of a sandy beach and the ocean calm. A prop that seemed to be a tower made of sand was on the tarp, and on the back corners of the tarp were props that looked like waves, and on the front corners of the tarp were props that looked like mounds of sand. The pit was centered in the mid-part of the field. Wind players seem to come out of nowhere from behind the "mounds" and the "waves." I counted 20 wind players total. Each horn player has his or her horn angled to the box, probably to get the maximum sound from it. The drill is complex with pass-throughs and ripple movement. The first trombone soloist sounds like a pro. Some members are doing intricate body movement. This group, though small, sounds big. The end of the first movement has a rotating triangle form with a circle form spinning from within, and the it ends with wind players dropping to their knees. Some of the wind players dance with the auxiliary in the second movement, while one percussionist takes to the hand-held bells up-front. The trumpets, I think, switch to alto horns, while the mellophones stay the same. One of the auxiliary members "discovers" the giant oyster prop, opens it, and finds a black pearl. The auxiliary member takes the black pearl and does a few eye catching flips across the field with it. During the incredible synthesizer soli, the brass players ground their horns to pick up woodwinds, and even the guard is now marching with woodwinds! (There is a marching snare drummer at this point, too). After this marvelous showmanship, the primary musicians hand off the woodwinds to the guard and pick up the horns they had at the start of the show. The music and marching near the end of this show is on fire, with complex rhythms and drill whiplashing all ways.
Score: 89.50 (8th Place)

1993 was a landmark year for high school marching bands. In my opinion, *this* was the year high school marching bands began to surpass drum and bugle corps in terms of difficulty, innovation, and powerfulness. Now I know comparing marching band to drum corps is like comparing apples to oranges, but I believe that they are closer than that. Think of it as comparing apples to pears. Both can be compared as "close" both musically and visually. The 1993 Star of Indiana Drum and Bugle Corps (from Bloomington, IN, and later became Blast!) seemed to push the envelope as far as it could be pushed in the marching arts activity, whereas Spring High School and other high schools that year and in later years picked up that torch. The Cadets of Bergen County Drum and Bugle Corps (from Bergenfield, NJ), both traditionalists and innovators since the early 1980s, may have come close to what Star of Indiana Drum and Bugle Corps did in 1993 (and granted they did defeat them in 1993), but since then they have had trouble along the way. George Hopkins, the director of the Cadets of Bergen County, tried and (somewhat) failed to change drum and bugle corps to become more relevant to the "new marching arts" by trying to include woodwinds and electronics. High school marching bands have used woodwinds, electronics, and new instrumentation for years, and with them stepping it up musically and visually, it can be argued that the drum and bugle corps art has become somewhat stagnant. (Note: There have been some exciting changes in drum and bugle corps, with brass now in "any key" and new amplification rules for 2004.)

I highly recommend that high school marching band enthusiasts purchase the 1993 Bands of America Grand National Championships videos. Or better yet, I highly recommend any high school marching band enthusiast to purchase the Bands of America "Best of the Best" DVD collection, which features every Bands of America Grand National Championships winner since 1979. (With the "Best of the Best" DVDs, you get a choice of seeing most of the bands in either high-cam or multi-cam.)

The future is bright for high school marching band...


1993 Bands of America Grand National Championships Results:

1. 96.55 Spring H.S., TX
2. 95.25 Lake Park H.S., IL
3. 94.25 Centerville H.S., OH
4. 93.85 Westerville H.S., OH
5. 92.65 Plymouth-Canton Educational Park H.S., MI
6. 90.55 Marian Catholic H.S., IL
7. 90.20 Seminole H.S., FL
8. 89.50 Jackson Academy H.S., MS
9. 88.65 Duncanville H.S., TX
10. 88.25 Center Grove H.S., IN
11. 88.25 Northrop H.S., IN
12. 86.60 Webster H.S., NY

Here are some random quotes (edited) taken from usenet over the years on the Spring, Jackson Academy, and Duncanville bands of 1993:

"During my 7 years of marching band experience, the greatest show to ever hit the field is without doubt Spring HS (Texas) 1993 "Symphonic Metamorphosis" show. It was more than incredible. It was in an entirely different class than any other band that year. I was in one of those other bands. (Webster, 12th place boa finals)...I know I'm not supposed to say this... but...this show probably could have challenged some of the top 12 corps from that year....( yes I know band and corps are two different animals but...)"

"Do everything humanly possible to get copy of Spring High School's 1993 BOA Grand Nationals Performance. They took the championship with it. It included Hindemith's Symphony in Bb and movements 2, 3, and 4 from Symphonic Metamorphosis. I cannot say enough about this show. It is truly incredible. If you can appreciate true marching band art form (as opposed to the crap that a lot of the bands are doing nowadays) then you must see this show. It will forever change your view of what a high school marching band is capable of."

"The move you are refering to is what we called the DNA move. That move was performed before the Cavies did it by Spring HS in 1993. If you have the BOA Nationals Videos from '93 (not high-cam), you won't be able to see it because of a close up on the flute soloist's nostrils. Great filming that year...:)"

"I LOVE spring, they rock sooo hard..... all i have to say is "Spring '93...exactly!"

"Scores aside, Spring was cleaner. No marching band has ever come even close to being as clean from a music and visual standpoint. (Plymouth and Hammond have come close, though.) Spring '93 was cleaner than most of the corps in 1999 DCI finals."

"A lot of bands want to be like Spring '93 (probably the best show I have ever seen)."

"Spring's show was the hardest marching show I think I've ever seen a band march and they made few errors. Having played both of the above pieces in a concert band, I can tell you, they did a jaw-dropping job with it. I have been to many marching competitions and marched in many too since I was in 7th grade (1984) and I think this show ranks up there will my all-time greatest. The finest of course being SCV's "Phantom" second edition."

"I still say Spring '93 was the best show of all time..."

"My favorite show was Spring High School in 1993!!! This band brought perfection to a new level. One of the cleanest high school shows ever."

"Spring High School's Hindemith show was arguably one of the best high school shows ever put on the field."

"I must say that the most amazing, if not the best, band I've ever watched was Jackson Academy HS (MS). I attended the BOA Grand National Finals in 1993 and witnessed both the largest and smallest bands I had ever seen at that level of competition. Jackson Academy HSMB had 20 winds, 12 guard, 7 perc (39 total). They pulled out a 30x25 yard tarp painted to look like a beach and lined the pit across the back edge (just behind the front hashmark). They had no percussion battery. The entire Jackson band at one point twirled flags and danced. I believe that I saw all the wind musicians playing brass instruments at one point and all woodwinds at another point. They did the most with the least, in terms of personnel, than any other band I've ever seen. Usually, given equal performances, a big band will beat a little band, but Jackson Academy finished 8th, I think, that night at Grand Nationals. One of the bands they beat BTW, was from Duncansville (TX), who was bigger than most college bands."

"It was a few years back so my memory may be a bit fuzzy, but here goes...Jackson Academy is a music performance school located in [Mississippi]. There were probably fewer than thirty people in their band. From what I could determine, everyone in the hornline played two instruments and guard members played instruments in addition to their flag work. They peformed on a tarp that stretched from 35 to 35, sidline to front hash. There were marine/ocean props around the edge of the field. I believe the music was by Pat Methany(sp?) and was of a nautical nature. It was an incredible show! They scored higher than Duncanville in Finals. BTW, Duncanvlle had at least 300 to 350 members."

"Hello, I saw your posting and wanted to respond. Please don't think that the size of your band would have any impact on how well your band would do at a Bands of America event. I've been attending the shows for 10 years now and have numerous stories to tell about the "David and Goliath"-type things that can happen. BOA is about excellence. Really it is! Just this past weekend Paden City HS from West Virginia made finals at the Morgantown Regional. They have 36 total members in the band grades 7 though 12 in a small country school of 250 total students. Ask any member of the Jackson Academy band in Mississippi (all 40 of them) how it felt to make finals at Grand Nationals and place just ahead of the largest band to ever come to the event? (Duncanville TX over 300 on the field). My point is that a band doesn't have to be a certain size to participate at BOA. Anyone and everyone is welcome! If you want to make finals... be the best you can possibly be, on an off the field. Play your horns well. Be creative. Show you have what it takes to make the cut. I am very familiar with your high school, I grew up just down the road in Boone County. We never had the opportunity to participate in BOA when I was in school. I highly recommend that you come to the Cincinnati Regional just to watch on October 17th. I think you'll see what I'm talking about. Have a great fall!!! Take Care, Chuck Henson (the 'Voice')"

"[Jackson Academy] are great musicians. They sound like a professional jazz band, which gets them extremely high music difficulty points. Also to actually build a drill with such a small group is no small accomplishment. Talk about your "body movements". This band has invented a whole new direction. When you add in the fact that apparently most of this band can play more than one instrument, it pretty much shoots any other Class A band out of the water. Still, it takes you by surprise when you see it for the first time. And after seeing them over the last 3 years, it seems their formula tends to repeat. Guess they'll keep using it until the judges get bored with it."

Past Bands of America Summer National Winners (1976-1978):
1976 Live Oak H.S., CA
1977 Murray H.S., KY
1978 Live Oak H.S., CA

Past Bands of America Grand National Champions:

1979 Sylva-Webster H.S., NC
1980 Tate H.S., FL
1981 Chesterton H.S., IN
1982 Norwin H.S., PA
1983 Rocky Mount H.S., NC
1984 Rocky Mount H.S., NC
1985 Marian Catholic H.S., IL
1986 Rocky Mount H.S., NC
1987 Marian Catholic H.S., IL
1988 Marian Catholic H.S., IL
1989 Marian Catholic H.S., IL
1990 Plymouth Centennial Educational Park H.S., MI
1991 Plymouth Centennial Educational Park H.S., MI
1992 Centerville H.S., OH
1993 Spring H.S., TX
1994 Marian Catholic H.S., IL
1995 Center Grove H.S., IN
1996 Lake Park H.S., IL
1997 Marian Catholic H.S., IL
1998 Lassiter H.S., GA
1999 Plymouth-Canton Educational Park H.S., MI
2000 Marian Catholic H.S., IL
2001 Lawrence Central H.S., IN
2002 Lassiter H.S., GA
2003 Westfield H.S., TX


Alan Irons
Fountain Valley High School Marching Band 1993-1996
Pacific Crest of Diamond Bar 1997
Nashua Spartans 1998-1999
UCSB Class of 2002
Last edited by airons0678 on Sun Dec 14, 2003 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by BariSx_G » Sat Dec 13, 2003 11:46 pm

Very, very interesting article. Where can I get a copy of 1993 BOA Grand Nationals? I wanna see what the fuzz is all about.

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Post by airons0678 » Sat Dec 13, 2003 11:59 pm

BariSx_G wrote:Very, very interesting article. Where can I get a copy of 1993 BOA Grand Nationals? I wanna see what the fuzz is all about.
Check out


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Greatest Bands Of All Time

Post by JLGORMAN » Sun Dec 14, 2003 9:07 pm

I think that was a great list, however youth shows when Bands prior to the 90's our not even considered. In my book the best High School Marching Band ever was a school called Cardinal Dougherty(pronounced Dockerty) of Philadelphia, PA. In the summer of 1966 the Dougherty Band won the World Music Championship at Kerkrade in the Netherlands with the highest score ever received in Marching Band Competition in Europe. They beat the top military Bands from Europe and did this while performing a 22 minute show from memory. their selections varied from an opening of Procession of the Nobles, Sousa Marches to a conclusion of Elsa's Procession into the the Cathedral from Lohengrin. They completed a 31 day trip of europe with their being given the honor of performing in person for Pope Paul VI in private audience in the Vatican. When the last World Music Championship was conducted in 1984, the Dougherty record still stood. Dougherty also pioneered the indoor field show, with their parade of champions in the Philadelphia Convention Center which featured some of the nations top bands performing indoors. Over a 9 year period from 1966 to 1975, I had the pleasure of watching this great Band and truly feel that the 1966 Band would well carry the title of the Finest High School Marching Band of All Times.
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And the beat goes on....

Post by vore » Sun Dec 14, 2003 9:26 pm


Dear old friend... I agree. The "youngins" out there don't know much about the bands of old due to the lack of video and DVD prior to the 1980's.

I find Spring HS to be a fine example of the top of the line BOA and Texas bands of the last 10 years.... But, there are some great bands that many of us (including yourself) are aware of from the previous decades.

In the early 90's, I heard the Spring Concert Band in a live concert. They rated right up there with the top concert bands I have heard around the US.

As a side note... Not all of the best bands in the US chose or choose to participate in the BOA. It is only one performance venue of choice for thousands of bands in the US.

"Educators are teachers who have taken an easy subject and made it difficult."

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Post by airons0678 » Wed Dec 17, 2003 6:40 pm

Thank you for your thoughts, Mr. Gorman and Mr. Hausey. Forgive me for not being clear on this. I believe Spring High School from 1993 is the greatest high school marching band of all time in terms of the "new marching art." By the "new marching art" I mean all field shows with asymmetrical drill from about 1982 onwards. (The 1980s Garfield Cadets come to mind as the pioneers of the "new marching art.") I have seen great high school marching band field shows from before and after 1993, and I have yet to see a band as great as Spring 1993. And when I mean "great," I think of all the greats such as Poway (CA), Norwin (PA), Fred C. Beyer (CA), Centerville (OH), Center Grove (IN), Clovis West (CA), Mater Dei (CA), Plymouth-Canton Educational Park (MI), Magnolia (CA), Westfield (TX), Live Oak (CA), James Logan (CA), Norwalk (CT), Marian Catholic (IL), L.D. Bell (TX), Lassiter (GA), West Genesee (NY), etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

I realize I did not include band review and military style marching bands, which would indeed include bands from before and after (roughly) 1982. Therefore, I think the name of my post should be changed a little. Please note that I have tremendous respect for band review and military style marching bands. (I marched in a band review every year I was in band, and I know that it takes just as much effort if not more effort than marching in field shows).

Now...where do we go from here? Spring '93 may be the greatest high school marching band of the new marching art to *me* (and many others too), but to some they may not. I understand how subjective the high school marching band sport is in regards to the judging. But I stand where I stand, and I wait for some one to claim which band beats Spring '93 in terms of difficulty, innovation, and powerfulness on the field.

Alan Irons
Fountain Valley High School Marching Band 1993-1996
Pacific Crest of Diamond Bar 1997
Nashua Spartans 1998-1999
UCSB Class of 2002

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Best Marching Band of All Time

Post by JLGORMAN » Wed Dec 17, 2003 9:03 pm

Alan: Since you placed the caveat of 1993 to present, I do not have a real argument. Spring and its sister School Westfield (both from Spring ISD) dominated Texas marching Band Championships from 1992 through 1998 with Spring winning in 1992 and 1994 with Westfield Second both years. In 1996 and 1998, it was Westfields turn to win with Spring not placing in 1996 but taking second in 1998. Interestingly enough the band that has caused them both the biggest problem is the 350 member Duncanville Band which has been in the top five every year since 1986. and won in 1990 and 2002 along with second places in 1996 and 2000. For all their greatness, neither of the spring Bands have ever outplayed Duncanville musically. It will be interesting to see how Westfield does this coming year against the Duncanville Crew. I think you could make a great case fr the Spring ISD having the nations finest high school bands in one school district.
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Very fine bands...

Post by vore » Wed Dec 17, 2003 10:38 pm

Jeff & Alan,

Interesting reading from both of you... I enjoy hearing about some of the bands that I have seen and heard of as well as a few that I have not.

I had the pleasure of seeing Duncanville at the National Fiesta Bowl Championships in December of 2001. My wife wrote the music for the Rubidoux HS Band (CA) while I was the music clinician for Rubidoux. Here are the results from that very famous contest in Phoenix which were adjudicated by a panel of judges from various regions around the United States:

DATE: Sunday, December 30, 2001
EVENT: Arizona: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
Fiesta Bowl National Band Championship,

FIELD PRELIMS - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
1 Rubidoux, CA
2 Jenison, MI
3 Duncanville, TX

FIELD FINALS - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
94.85 Jenison, MI
94.80 Duncanville, TX
92.53 Tate, FL
92.10 St. Charles West, MO

1 Duncanville, TX
2 Rubidoux, CA

1 Rubidoux, CA
2 Duncanville, TX

1 Rubidoux, CA
2 Jenison, MI

1 St. Charles West, MO
2 Jenison, MI

1 Rubidoux, CA
2 Jenison, MI

I found the Duncanville band to be very musical and enjoyed their performance.

I too find the top bands from Texas to rate up there with the best that the United States has to offer. Since I began following the Texas bands in the mid 1970's, I have found them to be very well trained in music fundamentals.

John Hausey

PS Thanks Alan for including my old Magnolia Bands on your list...
"Educators are teachers who have taken an easy subject and made it difficult."

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