The 2014 Bands of America Grand National Championships kicked off in beautiful Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indianapolis this evening with the annual Indianapolis Marching Band Tournament. The event has become a full-scale community gala, with students and boosters cheering on their hometown favorites.

The fans play an important role in the competition, as they are judged on their enthusiasm by a panel of local celebrities in the quest to win the coveted Spirit Award, which provides the winning school with a $1,000.00 scholarship. This year there was a tie, so both Broad Ripple Magnet High School and Crispus Attucks High School will get scholarships.

Fans were treated to special exhibition performances by the Marian University and Tennessee State University Marching Bands. Theodore Roosevelt College and Career Academy from Gary, IN also joined us for an exhibition performance, becoming the first non-Indianapolis high school to perform at this event.

Crispus Attucks HS struck gold with the choreography of their dance line, sweeping all captions to take the Class A Championship with the chart topping sounds of Earth, Wind, and Fire. Giving off an aura of an uptown dance club, Class A Runner-up Northwest HS made us want to move to the rhythms of contemporary artists Pharrell, Daft Punk, and Macklemore.

Class B winner Arsenal Technical HS presented sounds of the heartland, playing music of Aaron Copland. The toe-tapping “Hoedown” made us feel like we were enjoying a good, old-fashioned barn dance. The martial pounding of war drums propelled Emmerich Manual HS to Class B 2nd place and the award for Best Music, playing selections from “World of Warcraft.”

Shortridge Magnet HS had us smiling with their fun rendition of the classic pop tune “Louie, Louie.” With only 10 winds, Washington Community HS challenged their students with mysterious harmonies from “Cirque du Soleil,” while Broad Ripple Magnet HS honored our 16th President with “A Lincoln Tribute.” Key Learning Center brought a sense of foreboding and danger with “World of Warcraft,” and John Marshall HS drew “oohs” and “aahs” from the crowd with a trio of high-stepping dancers.

Two action-filled days of preliminary performances by ninety-four of the finest Bands of America begin Thursday morning, with the highest scoring bands moving on to Saturday morning’s Semi Finals competition. The top 12 scoring bands will compete in Saturday night’s Grand National Finals, where the 2014 Bands of America Grand National Champion will take home the traveling Eagle trophy.

Tickets are still available for all performances. We invite you to join us in person at Lucas Oil Stadium, via the live webcast available at, or through our interactive blog covering all the action as it happens. Let’s break ranks and join together as we endeavor to bring these young Winners in Life to the next level! Go for it!

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