WCU high school marching band contest set for Oct. 15

About 3,000 students from high school marching bands in four states will compete for top honors during the 11th annual Tournament of Champions competition Saturday, Oct. 15, at Western Carolina University.

“We are excited and looking forward to hosting one of the largest marching band competitions in the Southeast,” said David Starnes, director of athletic bands. “We invite everyone to attend this year’s event, not only to experience the great entertainment that our participating bands will offer, but also to show appreciation and enthusiasm for all of their hard work.”

The event, a showcase for elite high school marching bands, will begin with a preliminary session at 9:45 a.m. at E.J. Whitmire Stadium. Judged by a nationally recognized adjudication panel that provides educational and constructive feedback, bands selected to advance to finals will be announced at 4:30 p.m. The evening session will begin at 7 p.m., with finalists competing for the grand champion Chancellor’s Trophy.

In addition, WCU’s award-winning Pride of the Mountains Marching Band, which participated in the 2011 Rose Parade and performed this fall at a Carolina Panthers football game, will offer exhibition performances at 4 p.m. and at the end of finals at 9:30 p.m. Also on the schedule is a noon concert by Soul Train, the WCU marching band’s rock group.

Regional participating schools include Pisgah High School from Canton, Smoky Mountain High School from Sylva and Tuscola High School from Waynesville.

Tickets are available for the preliminary session for $10 each, and for the finals session for $8 each if purchased before 4 p.m. on Oct. 15 and $10 if purchased after 4 p.m. Tickets for WCU students are $8 to each session with a valid student identification, and children 12 and younger will be admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult.

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