Big turnout expected for annual marching band competition

By Daily Illini Staff Report

The University of Illinois Bands is hosting the 44 Annual Marching Band Championships Saturday.

The championship event will take place at Memorial Stadium from 8 a.m. – 9:45 p.m., according to a press release from University of Illinois Bands.

The competition will showcase 50 Illinois high school bands who will be divided into six classifications based on size. The event will also include performances from the Marching Illini at 2:18 pm and 9:18 pm.

The performances will be assessed by a panel of 18 judges from across the country on a variety of factors including, marching ability, musical ability, drill ability, entertainment value, and how well the performance relates to the audience, said Marching Illini Band Director Barry Houser.

Winning bands will receive trophies for a slew of these individual factors. Trophies will also be awarded for “Overall Grand Champion” to the best band in the 1A-3A division and in the 4A-6A division.

Houser estimates a better turnout this year than in the past, thanks to the good weather that is expected.

Spectators can purchase tickets outside of the stadium in the ticket booths near the South Tunnel along Kirby Avenue. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens (55+) and free for children under five years old.

For more information visit