Frequently Asked Questions

Who can enroll in Bands of America events?

Enrollment is open to all high school bands on a first-come, first-served basis.

How is performance order determined?

Preliminary performance times are scheduled based on a random draw. Applications received and paid for on or before January (for 2023) are eligible for the initial draw, after which performance times are based on postmark of application, with earlier postmarks receiving the later performance times. The previous year’s Regional Champion has the option to choose its Prelims performance time. Finals performances are scheduled by a random draw on site.

How is classification determined?

Bands of America has a four-class system. Bands are assigned to classes based on the following enrollment levels (grades 10-12):

• Class A – 600 or fewer
• Class AA – 601 -1325
• Class AAA – 1326 -1850
• Class AAAA – 1851 or more

Per our commitment to re-evaluate the classification system, classification numbers are examined and reset every three (3) years by a procedure that considers the composition of Bands of America Championship participation using three years of data. The maximum enrollment number for Class A remains constant, while the enrollment levels for Classes AA, AAA, and AAAA are adjusted to levels (for the next three years) that would have established equal, cumulative numbers of participants in each class over the prior three (3) years.

The current classification began with the Fall 2022 season, and the next reclassification will occur effective Fall 2025. For purposes of determining enrollment, your principal must certify enrollment and consider all those students in the grades 10-12 population as reported on fall State and/or FTE funding reports.

Why aren't classifications announced?

By nature, appreciation of arts requires subjective reactions. We do not announce or publish band classifications, before or during events. Our intention is to not draw attention to classification, so as to eliminate expectations of a band’s performance based on class, including those of the judges.

What are the division ratings?

A division rating of I, II, III, or IV is awarded to each band based on preliminary performances, with a division rating of “I” awarded to the highest scoring range. Division ratings do not play into the selection of finalists, which is based on overall score regardless of class. 

How are finalist bands selected?

The top 12 scoring bands, regardless of class, are invited to compete in the evening’s Regional Finals.

Super Regional Championships accept 14 bands into Finals. The 14 bands are chosen according to the following procedure: the five highest scoring bands in each of the two Prelims judging panels, regardless of class, plus the next four highest scoring bands from both of the two Prelims, regardless of class, will advance to Finals. If a Class Champion is not among the highest scoring bands advancing to Finals, they will be invited to perform at Finals in exhibition.

What are the judges looking for?

Bands receive recorded evaluation and scoresheets from each judge. The emphasis is on the input the judge offers to the band’s program. It is the position of Bands of America that music is the more important aspect of the performance, with marching as the presentation and visual enhancement of the program. Likewise, greater emphasis is placed on general effect than on fine-line perfection of the performance.  The weight of the numbers places 60% of the value on music and 40% on visual, as well as 60% on general effect and 40% on performance. Each judge is assigned a specific area on which he or she focuses: ensemble and general effect judges are located at a vantage point from above (e.g., press box), and individual performance judges are located on the field.
You can download the adjudication handbook from here for more information. 

Who are the Bands of America Adjudicators?

Bands of America judges are well-established experts in the music education, marching, and pageantry fields, with their educational philosophy and background taken into consideration as much as their career accomplishments. Panel assignments are made by the Chief Judge and are reviewed by Music for All executive management. Before any assignments are made, each potential judge must complete an “affiliation form,” listing all bands with which they have any kind of relationship. This enables Music for All to create BOA judging panels whose members are unaffiliated with any of the participating bands.

Is electronic recording allowed in the stadium?

No video or audio recording is permitted in the stadium without the express written permission of Music for All, in advance of the event.

Camera Policy

Any still camera (making film or digital still pictures) is allowed into and may be used from the spectator seating area of any venue, as long as it does not interfere with or disrupt the viewing experience of any other spectator. Family, friends, and fans may take still photos of BOA events for personal use only. The images may not be sold or otherwise distributed without the written permission of Music for All. Cameras (of any kind) may not be used on the field. People with field passes or name badges must go into the stands to take digital or film pictures. Tripods or other similar equipment that obstruct the view or path of travel of others in seating areas are not allowed.

Score Point Background

Music Performance scores are averaged–possible 20 points. Visual Performance scores are averaged–possible 20 points. The Music and Visual averages are added to the General Effect Music total (40) and G.E. visual score (20) for a possible total of 100 points. Any penalties are then deducted to calculate the final score. 

Music Performance Individual
Music Performance Individual judge is located on the field.

Music Performance Ensemble
Music Performance Ensemble judge is located at a vantage point from above.

Music General Effect
There are two Music General Effect judges, located above, each awarding 20 possible points, which are then added for a total of 40 possible points.

Visual Performance Individual
Visual Performance Individual judge is located on the field.

Visual Performance Ensemble
Visual Performance Ensemble judge is located at a vantage point from above.

Visual General Effect
Visual General Effect judge is located at a vantage point from above.

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