ISU to be webcasted!
Filed under: — Dan Balash @ 1:40 am


We are pleased to announce that once again, the Illinois State University Invitational Marching Championships will be webcasted!


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ISU to be webcasted
Filed under: — Dan Balash @ 1:48 am

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We are pleased to announce that once again, the Illinois State University Invitational Marching Championships will be webcasted! (more…)

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FloMarching to Live Stream all BOA Events
Filed under: — Dan Balash @ 1:57 am


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FloMarching has partnered with Music for All to bring live streaming to all 20 Bands of America regional and super regional championships throughout the country, as well as the Bands of America Grand National Championships in Indianapolis. (more…)

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What are judges looking for?
Filed under: — Dan Balash @ 1:20 am



Over the past few weeks, there have been a number of users questioning what judges are looking for when adjudicating a show, and how bands are classified.  This guide will hopefully explain both of those topics. (more…)

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Welcome to the 2016 Marching Band Season!
Filed under: — Dan Balash @ 3:24 am



Welcome, students, parents, directors, and fans to the 2016 season!


Welcome to Illinois Marching Online. We have been gearing up for the 2016 season (our 13th full season), and we hope you all have as well. We have had a good deal of things going on throughout the off season that we feel will enhance the site even more. (more…)

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ISU to be webcasted
Filed under: — Dan Balash @ 12:37 am



We are pleased to announce that once again, the Illinois State University Invitational Marching Championships will be webcasted! (more…)

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Week 1 Predictions
Filed under: — Dan Balash @ 12:52 am

Week 1 of the 2015 marching band season is here! (more…)

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Welcome to the 2015 Marching Band Season!
Filed under: — Dan Balash @ 10:23 pm



Welcome, students, parents, directors, and fans to the 2015 season!!


Welcome to Illinois Marching Online. We have been gearing up for the 2015 season (our 12th full season), and we hope you all have as well. We have had a good deal of things going on throughout the off season that we feel will enhance the site even more.

We have not had an update in a while and we thought we would share with everyone what has been going on, the rules around here, and some new things we will be doing throughout the season.


1.) Due to worries about spammers and the like, new members are not allowed to start new topics on the forums until you reach THREE posts.  Old members are grandfathered in, and it is not terribly difficult to reach three substantial posts.


2.) DO NOT BE AFRAID TO POST! Simply put, we’re welcoming of any discussion on the marching band and musical activity that we all know and love. We understand that some schools do have social media policies that prohibit posting on message boards, and we will honor those requests. However, please be aware that we do have everyone’s email address, and we can track users to a general location-with very little effort on our part. We have had requests from directors in the past asking us to reveal who a certain poster is, and we will continue to honor those requests.


3.) Band directors get special treatment on these forums. If you’re a band director and you have any sort of feedback/concerns, e-mail me directly. I strongly prefer that you e-mail from your school account, so that I can be sure you are who you say you are. In addition, if you are an educator and you post on the message boards, please PM me or email me so I can change your account status.




For all the rules, visit the Message Board Guidelines at


Thanks to the ILMarching survey that we have conducted for the last 4 years now, we have a number of new changes that we hope will enhance your use of the site.


1.) As of this writing we have over 1400 videos (and growing!) in our video database. These videos are viewable here: If you have additional videos to add (such as on a DVD, VHS or YouTube link) or if you see a broken link, please contact me.


2.) We have a writeup explaining how marching band competitions and judging run in Illinois as well as nationally. View it here: On the other half of that tab, there is a link to some great suggestions regarding etiquette at a competition. I strongly suggest reading that as well.


3.) Each bands’ page has been updated to include their show title for the 2015 season. Do you know if your band has their repertoire listed for this year? Check to find out. If your band is in red, you do not have a 2015 show listed with us. Send us the show information at, or post it on the forums.


4.) We have submission forms that make it easier on everyone. You can send your information on your band’s 2015 (or prior) show/past information, festivals, and scores. In addition, we are asking users of the site to submit any old repertoires for bands that they know. Do you have an old program book lying around that has show selections for each band? If so, could you email us with that information?



5.) We are going to try to cover any (and all) out of state shows that Illinois bands are competing in this year. In addition to that, we are going to post schedules and results for every Bands of America event this year due to overwhelming requests for that.


6.) There will be a myriad of features this year. We will have some fun articles along the way, as well as some surprises that we really think you’ll like.


7.) We will be updating scores for each show as usual. That means if you have official scores for a show, email them to us. The quicker we have them, the quicker they will be posted on the site. They will also be posted on Twitter and the Facebook Fan Page. If you have recap sheets, we like those as well!  They will be posted alongside the scores, as we have done in the past.


8.) Coming soon, we hope: A total redesign of the site.  We’re keeping our fingers crossed for the 2016 season.  The forums which are brand new software are the first step, and we’re not quite done tweaking them yet either.


9.) Instead of jamming all the schedules and scores into one thread this year, each show will get their own topic on the forums.


We are on Facebook and Twitter. We will use Twitter to update scores of whatever shows the staff is at, plus news going on around the state. We’ll also use the Facebook Fan Page to update users of scores as well, share some fun links, news, and maybe some video as well. The ILMarching Facebook page also allows users to message the page just like a normal person, which gives our users another way to contact us.


Tell your friends that use the site to become fans of the Illinois Marching Online page and follow us on Twitter! There is a link to both the Facebook and Twitter pages on the left hand side of every page.


Here’s the links to each site:

Twitter: @ilmarching Use #ilmarching to communicate with us faster.

Facebook Fan Page:


Illinois Marching Online has always been, and will forever be a free site for its’ users. Keep in mind the people that run this site are volunteers who have donated (and will continue to) hours upon hours of manpower to this site to make it what it is today. Mark is always taking my wild ideas for improvements and somehow makes them work. If you have any ideas for improvements, do not hesitate to contact us.

Everything comes out of pocket for the site: hosting fees, advertising fees, tickets, gas, and other various items. If you like what you see, would you please consider donating with PayPal? There’s a donation button on each of the main pages. If you do not have a credit card, and still wish to donate, we can work something out. Email Dan to discuss this. We understand times are difficult, and we will definitely appreciate any contribution that you make. You will also be publicly thanked on the site as well.


The site probably would not be around anymore if it were not for the generosity of our sponsors past and present. Thank you to the following past sponsors: Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps, The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps, Paramount Theater,  HuddleTrip and KnightFire Drum and Bugle Corps. Thanks as well to Paul Katula, for his donations over the past couple of seasons. Thank you to our current sponsors: Fitzpatrick Music and Voxitatis. These sponsorships and donations are greatly appreciated.


Stay tuned throughout the season for the latest scores and reviews and good luck to all of the bands in Illinois. We at Illinois Marching Online hope everyone has a fun, safe, and successful season. Make sure to promote the site to all of your friends!

As usual, if anyone has any suggestions for any improvements, suggest them to Dan or Mark.

-The Illinois Marching Online Staff

If you need to reach one of the admins, our email addresses are as follows:



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2014 Bands of the Year
Filed under: — Dan Balash @ 5:00 pm

Every year after Grand Nationals, we conduct voting to decide which bands to name the Illinois Marching Online Bands of the Year. This year’s voting consisted of 8 voters, which consisted of Illinois Marching Online Staff, as well as band directors, staff members, and judges from across the state of Illinois. All of the bands listed below have achieved high quality compared to the other bands in their class, and are worthy of special honor.

A quick explanation of how we conduct voting: Every band that competes once in Illinois is eligible to be voted for. Each voter is asked to vote for their picks in 4 divisions. Voters are allowed to submit half-completed ballots, if they are not comfortable voting in a division. Each division has 10 bands selected, and here is how the divisions break down:

  • Division 1: enrollment of 1600+, plus all 2013 Bands of America Grand National Semifinalists
  • Division 2: 900-1599
  • Division 3: 450-899
  • Division 4: < 450.

Each voter this year was also asked to vote for the “most improved band” in each class, and that was determined on their performances this year as compared to years past.

The points for each band are determined based on votes a band receives. For example: Band A receives a 3rd place vote in Division 1. As there are 10 bands being voted for, that band would receive 8 points towards their cumulative vote total. All ties are broken by the number of first-place votes received, if applicable.


And now, the 2014 Illinois Marching Online Bands of the Year!




  1. Marian Catholic (79 points, 7 first-place votes)
  2. Prospect (70 points, 1 first-place vote)
  3. O’Fallon Township (58 points)
  4. Lake Park (41 points)
  5. Lockport Township (39 points)
  6. Lincoln-Way North (34 points)
  7. Lincoln-Way East (30 points)
  8. Victor J. Andrew (27 points)
  9. Wheeling (15 points)
  10. John Hersey (14 points)

Most Improved Band:


  1. Normal West (75 points, 5 first-place votes)
  2. Morton (75 points, 3 first-place votes)
  3. Limestone Community (57 points)
  4. Lincoln-Way West (45 points)
  5. Bloomington (43 points)
  6. Mahomet-Seymour (39 points)
  7. Washington Community (27 points)
  8. Lemont (22 points)
  9. Lakes Community (17 points)
  10. Marion (6 points)

Most Improved Bands:
Normal West




  1. Illinois Valley Central (69 points, 4 first-place votes)
  2. Macomb (54 points, 3 first-place votes)
  3. Monticello (54 points)
  4. Murphysboro (40 points, 1 first-place vote)
  5. Eureka (39 points)
  6. Pontiac Township (28 points)
  7. Herscher (24 points)
  8. Newton (22 points)
  9. Mater Dei (20 points)
  10. Geneseo (19 points)

Most Improved Band:



  1. Watseka Community (45 points, 2 first-place votes)
  2. Tri-Valley (44 points, 1 first-place vote)
  3. Paxton-Buckley-Loda (31 points, 1 first-place vote)
  4. Nashville Community (20 points, 1 first-place vote)
  5. El Paso-Gridley (14 points)
  6. Farmington (14 points)
  7. ROWVA (12 points)
  8. Arcola (11 points)
  9. Casey-Westfield (11 points)
  10. Wesclin (9 points)

Most Improved Band:

Nashville Community


Congratulations to these bands and to ALL bands on a great season!


2013 Bands of the Year
2012 Bands of the Year
2011 Bands of the Year
2010 Bands of the Year
2009 Bands of the Year
2008 Bands of the Year
2006 Bands of the Year
2005 Bands of the Year
2004 Bands of the Year
2003 Bands of the Year
2002 Bands of the Year

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2014 Grand Nationals Thoughts
Filed under: — Dan Balash @ 8:52 pm


The annual Bands of America Grand National Championships start this week.  It is the most prestigious marching band show in the country, and 94 bands will converge on Indianapolis this weekend.  We’ll provide a few thoughts on who is in the running for the title, who will solidly be in finals, who is “on the bubble”, who we think will be in Semifinals, and who has a shot at making Semifinals.

Here’s how advancement works, from the BOA rule book:

Thirty bands (or more if necessary to accommodate participation by all classes) will advance to Semi-Finals.  Three criteria will be used to select Semi-Finalist Bands.  They are as follows:

(a) The 11 highest scoring Bands in each Prelims (22 total), regardless of class will advance; plus

(b) The next eight highest scoring Bands determined from a combination of remaining scores from Prelims 1 and 2, regardless of class will advance; plus

(c) The two highest scoring Bands from each of the four classes from each Prelims, should they not already be among the Bands selected based on criteria a and b above, will advance.


Grand Nationals is always a pretty difficult show to predict accurately who all will advance from prelims to semifinals, and semifinals to finals, but we’ll give it a shot.


This is a pretty good day of bands.  As of right now, I count 6 absolute “locks” for Semi Finals: Avon, Lawrence Township, Union, Homestead (making their first Grand Nationals appearance in 20 years), William Mason and Center Grove.  5 spots remain in the top 11 grouping, and those look like they’ll go to Ben Davis, O’Fallon Township, Lafayette, Upland, and North Hardin, which takes away one AA advancement opportunity.


This is a pretty strong day.  First things first, Tarpon Springs and Marian Catholic will both advance, taking away the automatic two AA qualifying spots for Friday.  Other locks include Owasso, Lake Central, Broken Arrow, Carmel, and Wando.  Others in the top 11 look to be Flower Mound, Plymouth-Canton, Kennesaw Mountain and Franklin, taking away the two automatic bids for Class AAA.

Next 8:

This is the grouping of the “next 8 highest scoring bands regardless of class.”  This is usually a pretty tough call, but I think they’re looking to go to Dobyns-Bennett, Castle, Centerville, Father Ryan, Lockport Township, Walled Lake Central (AAA 1 Thursday),  Wakeland, and Lake Park.

Class Advancement:

Class A: Thursday, Adair County looks to be a certainty to advance.  Sport two will be between Monrovia, Ada, and Archbishop Alter.  Alter was ahead of Monrovia at the Indianapolis Super Regional by 2.7 points, and they look to be the front runners here.  Friday, Bellbrook will advance easily.  Norton, Ohio will likely be the second A band to advance.

Class AA: Class AA Friday automatic advancement is taken by Marian Catholic and Tarpon Springs.  North Hardin will advance from Thursday, and that leaves the second AA spot up between Jenison, Reeths-Puffer, and Greenwood Community.  Greenwood placed 3rd in Class AAA at the BOA Indianapolis Super Regional, and Reeths-Puffer had the upper hand over Jenison at the Toledo regional placing 4th and 5th overall, respectively.  Reeths-Puffer and Jenison also placed 1-2 at the Michigan Flight II State Finals, and Greenwood placed 1st in ISSMA Class B State Finals.  This is a tough 2nd band to predict advancing, but it looks like Greenwood will do so.

Class AAA: Thursday has one slot open.  Walled Lake Central will secure the first spot, and it looks like spot two will be between Milford (Ohio) and Victor J. Andrew.  Milford placed 4th at the Dayton regional, a considerable margin behind William Mason in 1st.  Victor J. Andrew has had a pretty solid year, placing 8th in their class at the BOA Indianapolis Super Regional.  Rock Hill (SC) has a fair shot as well, after placing 9th at the Winston-Salem regional in mid October.

Others in the mix to advance to Semi Finals: Cary, NC, DeSoto Central, MS, James Madison, VA, Bassett, VA, Father Ryan, TN, Miamisburg, OH, Panther Creek, NC, Brunswick, OH, Lake Orion, MI


Semi Finals Class Placements:

Class A: This will be close between Bellbrook and Adair County, both of whom are having good seasons.  Bellbrook recently placed 17th at the Indianapolis Super Regional, and Adair County placed 6th at the early season Louisville regional.  Both were close last year, and I think Bellbrook will repeat as Class A National Champions.

Class AA: This will be the closest class of the weekend between Marian Catholic and Tarpon Springs.  Both are in the conversation for the Eagle-something I’ll get to in a bit.  It all comes down to performance time and strength of performance in semifinals, and both of these bands could quite possibly split the captions AND each win a different show (Prelims/Semi Finals/Finas).  I’ll give the nod to Tarpon, but I hope to be wrong about that.

Class AAA: This could be interesting.  Franklin AND Castle have both had great years up to this point, with Castle winning the early season Louisville regional and placing 9th in Indianapolis.  Franklin was 2nd at the aforementioned Louisville regional, and 5th at the Indianapolis regional.  That alone would make it interesting, but throw in Kennesaw Mountain, who has placed 2nd to Harrison twice this season in Powder Springs and Jacksonville.  This will be close, but we think Kennesaw Mountain will pull it off with Franklin possibly snagging a finals spot.

Class AAAA: The battle of the big guns here between Avon, Carmel, Broken Arrow.  All are in the hunt for the Eagle, and Broken Arrow ran away with the St. Louis regional.  Avon won the Indianapolis regional by a strong 1.3 over Carmel, and also won the Class A title at State Finals over Carmel.  This is a tough class, and I’m not really comfortable with making a pick here yet.


Bands Making Finals:

Absolute Locks: Avon, Carmel, Broken Arrow, Marian Catholic, Tarpon Springs

Should be solidly in: Homestead, William Mason, Kennesaw Mountain, Wando

On the Bubble: Owasso, Union, Flower Mound, Lawrence Township, Franklin, Center Grove, Lake Central, Plymouth-Canton, O’Fallon Township

On the Outside Looking In: Lafayette, Centerville


Bands in Contention for the Title: I’m not fully comfortable making my pick just yet, but I think these five bands will be in the hunt come Saturday night:

Avon/Carmel:  Of course these two are in the conversation.  These two play and move so well that they will always be in the hunt to keep the Eagle in Indiana.

Broken Arrow: An almost 4 point win at the St. Louis Super Regional over Blue Springs plus a 6A State Title will once again put Broken Arrow in the conversation.

Marian Catholic: 3rd place at the Indianapolis regional is about where they were expected to finish.  Throw in an overly demanding program that the students are playing extremely well, plus three weeks to clean between Indianapolis and Grand Nationals, and this is a program that will make finals for the 31st consecutive year and be in the hunt for their 8th National Championship.

Tarpon Springs: Yet another thoroughly enjoyable and demanding show from Tarpon Springs.  Don’t miss them this weekend.  They won the Atlanta regional by 4.9 over William Mason, who will likely be in Finals this weekend as well.  That’s an astounding amount to win a regional by, especially with strong bands behind them.  They’ll be in the conversation this weekend to bring the Grand Nationals title back to Florida for the first time since 1980.


Best of luck to all bands this weekend!




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