By Craig Rolfe
Hundreds of brightly colored band members will descend on the Vicksburg High School stadium on Saturday, Oct. 6 for the third annual Vicksburg Bulldog Marching Band Invitational. It is sponsored by the Band Boosters as a fundraiser. The public is urged to attend to hear and see top-quality band performances all day long.
This event will showcase marching bands from 16 Class A-D high schools, the host included, with a total of about 1,200 students. Marching bands are scheduled to perform from Schoolcraft, Kalamazoo Hackett, Portage Central, Mattawan, Gull Lake, Otsego, Galesburg-Augusta, and Comstock. Other schools registered for this event include Berrien Springs, Springport, Olivet, New Buffalo, River Valley, Reading and Camden-Frontier.
To close the performance part of the event, the Vicksburg High School marching band, the Big Red Machine, will present its 2018 competition show – Beyond Our World – as an exhibition. By custom the host band does not compete with the other bands for a rating.
Following the exhibition, drumlines of Vicksburg and Gull Lake will take center field for what should prove to be an exciting Drumline Face-Off. The complete schedule is available on the internet at Vicksburgbands.com.
The bands performing for ratings will be scored by a panel of judges on various criteria including music performance, marching accuracy, music effectiveness, and visual effect. The event will conclude with an all-class awards ceremony. The band with the top rating across all four classes will take home an impressive Grand Champion trophy.
The Invitational is scheduled to begin at 2:55 p.m., when an ensemble of the Big Red Machine will perform the National Anthem. The first competing band will perform at 3 p.m. and be followed by the other bands performing at approximately 20-minute intervals. A dinner break for the judges is built into the schedule.
Whether you are a true “band geek”, or just enjoy marching band performances, this is an event not to be missed. The admission charge is $6, and pre-school age children are admitted free. A variety of food and beverages will be available throughout the event.
Volunteers will guide vehicles to available on-site parking at the high school and adjacent middle school, and the administration building. Overflow parking will be available on nearby neighborhood streets.
The band is also being asked by the Michigan State Band & Orchestra Association to again serve as a host site for the District XI Marching Band Festival on Wednesday, October 10. The public is invited to attend.
Vicksburg Band Boosters are working hard to make this event an enjoyable experience for all, and a successful fundraiser for the Vicksburg Bands program. A strong showing of support for this event by the participating bands, and an expected large audience, will help sustain the Bulldog Invitational as the premiere annual scholastic marching band competition in this area, said Booster President Tabitha Farnham.