A Closer Look: Feature Stories From BOA 2018

TOP 5: Drill Moves BOA San Antonio Super Regional

This year, we wanted to take a closer look at some of the band programs who would be in our sights all season long. Through interviews with directors and designers, we get a look behind-the-curtain of some of the best band programs in the country.

These programs are going out of there way to push themselves into difficult competitive situations, situations that these programs have never seen.

We dedicated a writer for FloMarching and formerly Drum Corps International, Jeff Griffith, to spend his time talking to the minds behind the decisions. To tell the story of WHY this show, WHY this schedule, or whatever the case.

O'Fallon Township (IL)

In 2017, it wasn’t hard to tell when O’Fallon Township was on the field. 

That’s because you couldn’t see the field. It was covered — truly covered, from end zone to end zone and sideline to sideline — in a white tarp, that provided the “White Canvas” for which the band’s production was named.

“It’s kind of a winterguard type of thing,” O’Fallon director Melissa Gustafson-Hinds said. “You can have the theme down there — a clean slate, and you put the marching arts on top of it. I’m a risk taker by nature in my life, and I thought, ‘Why not? Just go for it.’”

It was bold. It was unique. 

It’s back.


Avon (IN)

In preparation for Avon High School’s 2018 show design process, Daniel Wiles found himself at a Petco.

Yes, a Petco. 

Wiles and the design staff at Avon had a vision — an unorthodox, creative vision. Using some of the resources from his pet store shopping spree, Wiles realized that idea in the form of a scale model. 

A scale model of a fish tank.

“I bought all of this stuff, I don’t know, like, $300, $400 worth of stuff,” Wiles said. “Just rock sculptures and all these flowers and all of the stuff that you’d put in an aquarium. And I went home and laid out this green tarp that I got, and I started setting up.”

“I was like, ‘This is it, this is a great idea,’” he said. “‘We’ve got to do this.’”

The 2018 stage for Avon was set, quite literally. 


Prosper (TX)

The band’s appearance at this year’s Grand Nationals starts bright and early; brighter and earlier than any other competitor, in fact. Prosper will open Thursday’s portion of prelims competition with a performance time of 7:45 AM.  

On one hand—the obvious—that’s a quick, exhausting turnaround from a Wednesday afternoon flight. Prosper will start Thursday rehearsals around 5 AM, a little over two hours before the members’ classmates will begin arriving at school back home in Texas.

“In making our decision in May (to go to Indianapolis), that gave us the unfortunate first on spot, so that’s the other tough thing about this,” Alstrin said. “We’ve got to get our kids up early and get them going and try to make a strong impression on that first showing for the panel.”


Camdenton (MO)

For the group from a small town in Missouri, achieving the status of St. Louis Super Regional finalist was the pinnacle. It marked the completion of their 2017 competitive season—in mid-October, as had always been the case in years prior.

“It was magical,” Baur said. “I know there are people that make finals at a thing like that all the time. For us, that was our first time ever making finals.”

That moment set a new standard. It created momentum.

And now, because of that momentum, it’s no longer the benchmark. 

“For us, it’s a whole new ballgame,” Baur said. 


Macy's Thankgiving Day Parade: Bands To Look Out For

As one of the most mainstream opportunities to watch great marching bands, the 2018 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has a lineup worth paying attention to! Twelve marching bands will be featured in this year's parade on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 22.

Drum Corps Come Out Of Hibernation For Auditions

Grab your fanny packs, it's time for the 2019 drum corps audition season!

DCI Releases 2019 Tour Schedule With Exciting Changes

Drum Corps International released their schedule for the 2019 DCI Summer Tour this morning, just days after the door swings closed on a fantastic season of high school marching band in Bands of America. The last spectators are still leaving Lucas Oil Stadium as we speak—pretty sure the security guards are STILL asking for the last Carmel parents to stop taking pictures.

Weekly Watch Guide: FMBC State Championships

Thought we were done? Nope! One more event coming to you for the fall marching band season, possibly the last state championships in the country--Florida! They don't have to experience the snow and sub-freezing temperatures like the rest of us.

Relive The 2018 BOA Grand National Finalists

Rewatch the 2018 BOA Grand National Championship finalist bands in order of how they finished. 

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Carmel Wins Third Grand National Championship In A Row

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Carmel (IN) - BOA Grand National Championship Finals

It's been over 4 months since bands reported for summer band camps across the country. After grueling rehearsals, long road trips, and countless repetitions, the culmination for the nation's best high school marching bands reached its peak inside Lucas Oil Stadium. 

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RESULTS - Premium Watch Guide: 2018 BOA Grand National Champs

It's hard to describe in words what has happened in Lucas Oil Stadium over the past three days. The 2018 Bands of America Grand National Championships have delivered on all of the pageantry, artistry, and performance that you could ever want from some of the best high school marching bands in the world.

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Prosper Wins Grand National Finals Fan Favorite Vote

Well, we've made it folks. The 2018 Bands of America Grand National Championship finals have come and gone. 108 bands were narrowed down to just the top 12, and holy cow were they good.

Andy's Top 5 BOA Shows Heading To Grand Nats

To say that the 2018 Bands of America season has been impressive is probably the understatement of the year. I always expect the top drum and bugle corps of the world to come out with something groundbreaking by way of marching arts show design, but this year's BOA season has topped even DCI for me.