This Throwback Thursday, we’re going back to 1996! The 1996 Grand National Championships marked an important change for the Bands of America event: the Championship expanded to a three-day format, featuring 80 marching bands at the RCA Dome. For the first time, Grand Nationals included three rounds of competition: prelims, semi-finals and finals.

1996 Grand National Finale

At the Grand National Finale on Saturday evening, a new Grand National Champion was named: the Lake Park High School Marching Band from Roselle, Illinois! Under the direction of Bands of America Hall of Fame member Kenneth Snoeck, the Lake Park H.S. Band performed their show “Queen of Spades.” Here are a few Lake Park band members, breaking ranks to celebrate their incredible achievement!

Lake Park Band

Do you have a Grand Nationals experience you would like to share? We’d love to hear it; share in the comments below!



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.