The 2019 Bands of America season kicks off this weekend in Louisville, Kentucky, with a mix of solid historic bands and exciting programs on the rise. With strong competitors in every class, this could be one of the few finals that includes competing finalists representing each class.
Take a look at a handful of the groups you won’t want to miss.
The undisputed champion
Coming off their third consecutive national championship, a majority of Carmel band members have never experienced anything other than a first-place finish at any band competition. Don’t expect that to change this weekend as the Marching Greyhounds bring their 2019 production “Eternal Beloved” to Louisville.
For those who don’t understand why Carmel is such a consistent regional, super regional, and national champion, one thing to pay attention to is their dynamic control. Many bands can play loud and soft, but Carmel masters more advanced dynamics and shaping with crescendos (steadily increasing volume) and diminuendos (steadily decreasing volume, as well as subito (sudden) changes in volume.
This is a huge way Carmel sets themselves apart in the eyes and ears of the music effect judges, who together contribute 40% of the total score.
Of course, it’s not just their musical excellence. With rare exception, there is always some sort of motion on the field. Whether it’s physically demanding drill or their world-class color guard members throwing (and catching) challenging tosses, a Carmel production offers nonstop engagement for the audience.
The trio fighting for two remaining medals
Castle, Franklin, and North Hardin have been consistently tight competitors at this regional, with just about every variation of their placement order occurring in prelims or finals over the last five years. While the order of their placements this year is very uncertain, you can certainly expect excellent performances from all three groups.
At the last Louisville Regional in 2014, Castle earned their first-ever regional champion title and began a season of monumental growth for the program leading to multiple national finals appearances in following years. This year’s show “Mad Hope” has already received many accolades at local competitions and is certain to entertain here in Louisville.
Franklin is entering the 2019 season with a change in leadership after their assistant director was promoted to head director. This year’s show "SymphoniCity" showcases the excitement of a big city along with an energetic mixture of music that crowds just might want to hum along to.
A quick look through recaps shows that North Hardin has improved their score each year since 2014, a huge accomplishment. If they can continue that trend of improvement, “Lost In Translation” will turn a lot of heads this weekend and will be part of a memorable season for these members.
The Kentucky “locals”
Located just 20 minutes from North Hardin, Central Hardin will also be traveling to Louisville to defend their finals spot. These two consistent finalists from Hardin County are just some of the 14 Kentucky bands competing in their home state regional—nearly half of the line up.
Adair County, the 2017 class A national champion, has made regional finals many times, proving you don’t have to be from a big school to be successful. Fellow Kentucky band and class A competitor Bourbon County has its own list of finals appearances to back up that claim.
With the shortest commute of any competing band, Eastern High School of Louisville made their first regional finals appearance last year in Oxford, Ohio. With the home-field advantage this year, Eastern could have another finals appearance in store for them. With so many great local groups, expect to see a surprise or two from a Kentucky band you may have never heard of.
All the way from Mississippi
Clinton and DeSoto Central are traveling all the way from Mississippi, but for good reason. The two bands have consistently made finals at the Clarksville Regional that this event is replacing. For those unfamiliar with this particular state’s bands. These are two of the top Mississippi groups that always bring entertaining, crowd-friendly shows. This year should be no different.
With seven different states represented, the Louisville Regional will feature a huge variety of bands that is sure to be a blast from start to finish. The action kicks off at 7:45 a.m. ET right here on FloMarching!