The Value of Competition

Competition is woven into the very fabric of America and has helped to foster the development of the strongest nation on Earth. Bands of America and Music for All believe that competing is a great motivator and provides amazing opportunities for learning life lessons. The essence of competition is in the striving for performance excellence and being held accountable for learning. If the focus is on the learning, the competitive climate will be a source extremely valuable in life. On the other hand, the negativity associated with “winning at all costs” will be a detriment to personal growth. Winning is certainly a monumental benchmark, as is any measurement in the competitive arena. Performing your very best in competition is also a benchmark, as is competing with the very best programs. By choosing to participate in competition, individuals and groups have already “won” simply by being highly motivated.

The competitive arena provides a very precious opportunity to practice quality sportsmanship and sincere appreciation for the hard work of others. It also is the place where the very best models in our activity can be displayed and celebrated. All performers need models to demonstrate possibility at the highest levels of performance and artistry. Bands of America encourages all participants to stay for Finals, show appreciation for those models, and for finalists to “break ranks” in order to congratulate each other for their successes. As all programs continue to improve through motivation, the competition strengthens everyone, pushing us beyond what we believed to be our potential. Each and every band performance is a gift to us all and must be treasured. First place is fleeting, but the learning associated with the striving for excellence, the cooperative work ethic, and the appreciation of others is everlasting. Bands of America encourages participants, parents, and friends to celebrate the high value of the competitive environment for its lessons and to become immersed in “positively life-changing experiences.”

— From the Bands of America Official Procedures and Adjudication Handbook

“Live daringly, boldly, fearlessly. Taste the relish to be found in competition — in having put forth the best within you.”
– Henry J. Kaiser | American industrialist and founder of Kaiser Aluminum, Kaiser Steel and the Kaiser Family Foundation 

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