More than 20 top high school marching bands from four states will assemble for Western Carolina University’s 12th annual Tournament of Champions, an invitational competition hosted by WCU’s award-winning Pride of the Mountains Marching Band, at E.J. Whitmire Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 20.
The high school musicians will be competing for various awards, including the prestigious Chancellor’s Award, a large glass traveling trophy that is presented to the grand champion band, and the North Carolina Roll of Honor, awarded to the highest scoring band from North Carolina.
“This annual event is truly a showcase of elite marching bands from across the Southeast,” said David Starnes, director of the Pride of the Mountains. “The tournament will feature a national panel of adjudicators who have been selected primarily for their ability to communicate with the students and directors participating in what has become one of the top marching band events on the eastern seaboard.”
The tournament-hosting Pride of the Mountains Marching Band was the 2009 recipient of the prestigious Sudler Trophy, the nation’s highest and most-coveted award for college and university marching bands. The WCU band also scored an invitation to participate in the 2011 Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s Day in Pasadena, Calif., where it was named best band in the parade in a poll conducted by a Los Angeles television station.
The Oct. 20 competition will consist of two sessions. Preliminaries will begin at 8 a.m. and continue through the morning and afternoon. The three class champions will be announced at the conclusion of the preliminaries, and the class champs and the next seven highest scoring bands will advance to the finals competition that evening.
The Pride of the Mountains Marching Band will perform its halftime show “How We Roll” at 4 p.m. The show features the music of Tchaikovsky, Katy Perry, Ke$ha, Adele, V.I.C., Billy Joel, Van Morrison, Brian Setzer and Psy.
Participating North Carolina bands (and towns where located) are Owen (Black Mountain), Brevard, Pisgah (Canton), Enka (Candler), Cary, Mill Creek (Claremont), Morehead (Eden), Chase (Forest City), Hickory Ridge (Harrisburg), North Henderson (Hendersonville), Lincolnton, North Lincoln (Lincolnton), Wakefield (Raleigh), Smoky Mountain (Sylva), Cuthbertson (Waxhaw), Tuscola (Waynesville) and North Buncombe (Weaverville).
Participating from Georgia is Kell High School of Marietta.
South Carolina high schools participating are White Knoll (Lexington) and Dorman (Roebuck).
Participating from Tennessee is Hardin Valley Academy of Knoxville.
Tickets are $10 for the preliminary competition. Tickets for the finals are $8 if purchased in advance or at the gate before 4 p.m., and are $10 if purchased after 4 p.m. Children under the age of 12 will be admitted free when accompanied by an adult.
For more information, call 828-227-2259 or click on www.prideofthemountains.com.