In honor of our very first Bands of America event in North Carolina** this weekend, we decided to honor the Tar Heel State in this edition of throwback Thursday! North Carolina has a long history of strong marching bands, and the state has produced two national champions: Sylva-Webster H.S. (1979 Summer Nationals) and Rocky Mount H.S.


At the 1986 Grand National Championships, Rocky Mount H.S., under the direction of John C. Sykes, became the first three-time national champion. The band also won in 1983 at Eastern Tennessee State University and in 1984 at the newly constructed Hoosier Dome.


Just like many of the other Grand National Champion photos we’ve shared here, the joy in the students’ faces are a perfect representation of the positively life-changing experiences that were at work in 1983 and still today.

We’re very excited to welcome bands from throughout North Carolina, as well as Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia at the BOA Super Regional Championship in Winston-Salem this weekend! If you’d like to find out more about this weekend’s event at Bowman Gray Stadium, click here.


**Update: After a BOA fan sent us a message, we found a program book in our archives for the 1982 Cullowhee Regional at Western Carolina University, which was the actual first BOA event in North Carolina! I apologize for the error.


Seth Williams is the Development Coordinator at Music for All. Seth is no stranger to Music for All and Bands of America – first as a participant and as an intern in Development and Participant Relations. He is a graduate of Butler University and previously worked in the Broadway theatre industry in New York. A proud alumnus of “The Centerville Jazz Band,” Seth is likely the biggest band nerd he knows.