FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WAUNAKEE, Wis. (October 12, 2021) – More than 30 high school bands from across the state will march on the UW-Whitewater campus Saturday, October 16 for the 36th annual Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) State Marching Band Championships at Forrest Perkins Stadium, starting at 11:45 a.m. Click here for schedule.
“The WSMA State Marching Band Championships bring thousands of people together, promoting excellence and pride along with a spirit of support and enthusiasm for our marching band youth and their educators,” said Laurie Fellenz, WSMA executive director.
The WSMA State Marching Band Championships are divided into four entry classes (A, AA, AAA and AAAA) determined by total school enrollment. Each band is allowed on the field a maximum of 15 minutes (including entry, performance and exit). A panel of eight judges evaluates bands in five areas: music performance, visual performance, general effect, percussion and color guard. Bands receive both a written critique and recorded comments from each judge for their performance. Bands have a variety of entry options. While the majority of bands march in a competitive class, they may also choose Comments Only (no ratings given or announced), Non-Competitive (numbered score is given but not announced) or Festival Class (award divisions I-IV are given similar to WSMA’s renowned Concert Festival rating system). In each competitive class, “A” through “AAAA,” awards for Best Percussion, Best Musical Presentation, Best Visual Presentation and Best Color Guard are presented, in addition to division awards and the top three awards in each class.
At this year’s championships, two individuals, the late Linda Petersen and Tom Cook, will be officially inducted into the WSMA Marching Band Hall of Fame, which is intended to recognize the contributions made by individuals to the marching activity in Wisconsin.
Linda Petersen was WSMA director of programs from 1994 until 2007. She was instrumental in the execution and development of WSMA programs, including the State Marching Band Championships. Her many contributions held the students’ experiences and education at the center and still impact WSMA programming today.
Tom Cook, Fort Atkinson, has played an integral part in marching activity in the state of Wisconsin for decades. His work as an educator, adjudicator and WSMA Marching Band Committee member has impacted thousands of students and fostered the growth of the marching arts in Wisconsin.
Family, friends and community members are invited to attend the 2021 WSMA State Marching Band Championships. Tickets $15 online ($16 at gate) for adults; $8 online ($9 at gate) for students 18 and under, senior citizens and undergraduate college students with valid college ID. Children five and under, free admission. For more information, including post-event results, visit wsmamusic.org.
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Founded in 1932, Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) is a non-profit service organization with more than 1,000 member public and private schools. Students from member schools are eligible to participate in WSMA programs, such as District and State Music Festivals, Concert Festivals, State Honors Music Project, State Marching Band Championships, WSMA Aca U and Student Composition Project. WSMA is governed by a board of directors made up of superintendents, principals and other officers from all over the state. WSMA believes music is a basic human need and that all children have the right to experience all that music offers them.