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Marching bands compete for title, spotlight music education

Marching bands compete for title, future of the arts

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Music is blasting out of Lucas Oil Stadium this weekend as bands compete to see who is the best in the region.

At the Bands of America Super Regional Championship, kids aren’t just fighting for the top spot: They’re also bringing attention to the importance of arts education.

When the band comes out for halftime, it’s often a fan’s cue to get up and get a snack. But during Bands of America, bands are the main attraction, showcasing what they’ve learned throughout the year and inspiring others.

Feet kicked up AstroTurf as marching band students from more than 80 different schools around the region brought the best of what they’ve rehearsed thousands of times over the last year.

“It’s because they’ve given us such a great show and they just want to see us do our best,” said Allie Conant, a junior at Elkhart’s Concord Memorial High School. “The main goal at the end of the day is to see us all succeed, and that’s the only goal that they want for us.”

But success comes in different forms. For some Indiana bands, whether they win or lose, the championship is a practice run for the state competition in just two weeks. That will also be hosted at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“It’s what’s going to motivate us and it’s going to show us what we can achieve later on in the season if we continue to do well,” Conant said. “So, not only will this placing show us where we’re at now, but it will show us where we need to exponentially grow toward our next goal.”

But the Bands of America competition also serves another purpose for future students who want to march on that turf someday: to show everyone watching that the arts are an integral part of a student’s education.

“We have a vision to ensure that every child across America has access and opportunity to engage in active music making in his or her scholastic environment,” said Jeremy Earnhart, vice president and COO of Music For All, the music education nonprofit behind Bands of America.

And there are a lot of people watching. The stands are filled with former band members, parents and other advocates who want to see arts programs thrive.

“Music for All and Bands of America services 150,000 students as well as 500,000 crowd participants,” Earnhart said. “So, if that gives you an idea of the scope- it’s a pretty special thing.”

The shows are going on until 10 p.m. Friday and all day Saturday.

So, if you’d like any more information on tickets, click here.

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