updated: 11/12/2007 9:42:49 AM

National Band Competition to March Into Indianapolis

InsideINdianaBusiness.com Report

More than 90 of the nation's top high school marching bands will converge on Indianapolis on Wednesday for the Bands of America Grand National Championships at the RCA Dome. The Grand Nationals has been held in the RCA Dome all but two years since 1984.

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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Downtown Indianapolis will come alive with music, when more than 90 outstanding marching bands from across the country will gather Wednesday – Saturday, November 14 – 17 in Indianapolis at the RCA Dome and Indiana Convention Center for the Bands of America Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha. Recognized as marching band’s most prestigious event, Bands of America’s Grand National Championship showcases the finest high school marching bands in America.

The first marching event in the RCA (then-Hoosier) Dome was the 1984 Bands of America Grand National Championships. Now, 24 years later, the 2007 Grand National Championships will be the final marching event in the RCA Dome before moving to Lucas Oil Stadium in November 2008. Grand Nationals has been held in the RCA Dome all but two years since 1984, with nearly 300,000 student performers.

“Grand Nationals” kicks off Wednesday, November 14 with the Indianapolis Public Schools Marching Band Tournament, 7 – 9:30 p.m. Gates open at 6:30 p.m., tickets are $10.

Grand Nationals continues with Thursday and Friday national preliminary competition, Saturday semi-finals and Saturday evening’s national finals. The event also includes a student leadership workshop, an expo with more than 100 booths located on the concourse of the RCA Dome and special clinics and screenings.

Saturday night’s Grand National Finals culminates in the naming of the new Bands of America national champion. Twelve bands will perform in finals, selected from the 30 semi-finalist bands who will perform Saturday, November 17 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

IMAX Theater and Music for All are partnering to present screenings of two movies focusing on the power of music for band fans during Grand Nationals week. "From the 50 Yardline" is an award-winning documentary film showing at 6:30 p.m and 8:15 p.m. on Thursday, November 15. The primary story is told through the Centerville (Ohio) High School marching band from suburban Dayton, culminating in their trip to the 2006 Grand National Championships "From the 50 Yardline" has been a featured selection, and winning awards, at film festivals around the word.

“Chops,” an official selection of Tribeca Film Festival, will show at 9 p.m. on Friday, November 16. Each year, Jazz at Lincoln Center and its artistic director, Wynton Marsalis, host the prestigious Essentially Ellington Festival, a competition of high school jazz bands from across the country. Chops, a documentary film, follows the members of the Douglas Anderson School of The Arts jazz ensemble – a past participant in the Music for All National Festival which is held each spring in Indianapolis – as they prepare for and then perform in this elite competition. “Chops” has won Best of Festival Prizes from Florida to Alaska.

"The final moments of [Chops] are as thrilling as anything you'll see on film this year,” said Jed Dietz, Director, Maryland Film Festival. “Any doubts you might have had about the potential of American youth, the efficacy of arts funding, the practical power of music, are answered for good. And, of course, the music is not to be believed."

Bands of America is an operating division of Music for All, one of the largest and most influential national music education organizations in support of active music-making. Music for All is based in Indianapolis and presents several other events in Indianapolis, including the Music for All National Festival for concert bands, percussion ensembles and orchestras, the latter held in cooperation with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, next held February 28 – March 1, 2008.

The Grand National Championship represents the culminating event for Bands of America’s fall season of 21 marching band championships held in major professional and top university stadiums nationwide in September, October and November. Grand Nationals is one of nearly 30 events held across the country annually by Bands of America and Music for All, with an expected attendance in 2008 of about 50,000 participants and spectators.

“Bands of America has embodied its mission and provided these life-changing experiences through music for all for more than 32 years,” says Scott McCormick, Music for All President and CEO. “Grand Nationals is the most exciting and largest event for high school bands in America. Marching bands today presents a musical and visual art form that is entertaining for the entire family,” says McCormick.

Grand Nationals comprises four days of performances and special events, including:

• Indianapolis Public Schools Marching Band Tournament, hosted by Bands of America in the RCA Dome, Wednesday evening, Nov. 14, 7 – 9:30 p.m., tickets $10
• Grand National Preliminary Competition, Thursday, November 15, 11 am – 11:15 p.m., and Friday, November 16, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., RCA Dome, prelims tickets $17 per day or $29 for a two day pass
• Grand National Semi-Finals Competition – the 30 top contenders vie for Class Championships and a spot in Finals, November 17, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., tickets $29 (press box seating $90)
• Grand National Championship Finals, Saturday, Nov. 17, 7-11 p.m. – the nation’s top marching bands vie for the national champion title, $19 reserved seat tickets available (and $125 press box tickets)
• Student Leadership Workshop, Friday, Nov. 16, 5-7 p.m., Indiana Convention Center
• Grand Nationals Expo, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 15-17, RCA Dome – Music industry, souvenir and novelty booths, drum corps, color guards, colleges, gaming and more
• Program note: the previously scheduled Celebrate America! And Garage Bands America outdoor events on Friday evening at Pan Am Plaza have been cancelled.

Tickets are available at TicketMaster.com and TicketMaster by phone 317.239.5151 or the RCA Dome box office. For further information, visit www.musicforall.org or call 317-636-2263.

Source: Bands of America

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