Tiger band traveling to St. Louis for Bands of America

MARSHALL — For its final performance of the season, the Marshall Tiger marching band will be up against some of the best bands in the country.

The Marshall Tiger marching band will take the field at 9:15 a.m. Saturday in the Dome at America’s Center for the Bands of America Super Regional Competition in St. Louis, Missouri.

The marching band started competing at BOA in 2003, when it went to Grand Nationals in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 2005, it started going to St. Louis, said MHS band director Wayne Ivers.

“We have been on and off in our attendance to this competition since,” he said.

Competition at BOA is much tougher than it was several years ago, Ivers said. There are more bands to compete against that are really good bands, he added. There are 64 bands from a dozen states competing on Saturday.

“And more bands that are traveling to BOA competitions,” he said.

Marshall competes in Class AA, which is based on official school enrollment, Ivers said.

“We are the smallest school in the 2A class,” Ivers said. “BOA sends an official form to the school to get our enrollment. There are a lot of good bands in our class.”

To prepare for Bands of America, the Marshall Tiger marching band has been rehearsing since the beginning of August on its show, “Machina.”

“We rehearse several mornings a week before school as well as an evening practice, usually at Mattke stadium,” Ivers said. “We have been making adjustments and fine- tuning the show to put on the best performance possible.”

The season has gone well for the marching band, Ivers said.

“We as a staff are proud of the work the kids have done and continue to do so as we near the end of our season,” he said.

“One comment we have received from the judges is how well our kids know what their job is on the field. They know where they’re supposed to be and what they’re supposed to be doing.”

The trip to Bands of America is exciting for the kids, Ivers said.

“We get to travel and stay overnight in a hotel, compete against some of the best bands in the country, and we get better while doing it,” he said.

Making finals at BOA is always the goal, Ivers said, but “We really want the kids to have a memorable experience and put on a good performance they can be proud of.”