Marching bands from across to country to compete in Indy

100 high school marching bands. TWO days of preliminary competition. All happening at Lucas Oil Stadium Nov. 8-11.

Outstanding high school marching bands from 23 states will compete in the nation’s most prominent marching band championship, Music for All’s Bands of America Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, November 8-11. Bands will compete from Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.

Twelve Indiana bands, including Avon High School, Carmel High School, Castle High School, Center Grove High School, Columbus North High School, East Central High School, Fishers High School, Homestead High School, Lake Central High School, Lawrence Township, Martinsville High School, and Monrovia High School will compete in the Grand National Championships.

Today on Indy Style, Eric Martin, CEO, Music for All, and James Stephens, Director of Advocacy and Educational Resources, Music for All, tell us more:

The championship event will feature 100 high school marching bands in two days of preliminary competition. Thirty bands from Thursday and Friday’s preliminary competition will advance to Saturday’s Semi-Finals. The top 12 scoring bands on Saturday will move on to the evening Finals competition, where the Grand National Champion will be named. Nine schools will kick off the event on November 8 with the Indianapolis Marching Band Tournament. A panel of nationally recognized music educators and marching arts experts will evaluate each competing band in the Indianapolis Marching Band Tournament Wednesday and the Grand National Championships Thursday through Saturday.

With over 1.5 million music students impacted by Music for All’s programs over more than 40 years, Bands of America Championships are a celebration of music education at its finest, showcasing excellence, teamwork, and leadership. In addition to the performances, the event includes an Expo in the stadium, a student leadership workshop, and special events for music educators, students, and parents.  Paige’s Music/Chops Percussion of Indianapolis is the Official Music Store of the event. More than 93,000 participants and spectators are expected to attend, with thousands more watching the event’s live stream on

In addition to Grand Nationals, the Bands of America Indianapolis Super Regional will also be in Lucas Oil Stadium, on October 20-21.

Indianapolis Marching Band Tournament Nov. 8

Grand Nationals begins as nine marching bands perform in the Indianapolis Marching Band Tournament, presented by Yamaha, from 7:00 p.m.- 9:30 p.m. at Lucas Oil Stadium. The bands include Arsenal Technical High School, Arlington High School, Broad Ripple Magnet High School, Crispus Attucks Magnet High School, Emmerich Manual High School, George Washington Community High School, and Northwest Community High School, with Grand National competing bands Maui High School and Mililani High School from Hawaii that will perform in exhibition.

Spirit judges will award the most spirited, enthusiastic school in the Indianapolis Marching Band Tournament with the Spirit Award and a $1,000 scholarship for the school’s band program. Tickets are available free in advance of the event from any of the bands participating in the Indianapolis Marching Band Tournament or at the Ticket Office during the Wednesday evening event for $5. The Spirit Award was created to increase awareness in music education programs in Indianapolis schools.

“Bands of America Championships are programs, supporting our mission to create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all,” according to Eric L. Martin, President and CEO of Music for All. “Active experiences in music and the arts are integral to providing students with a well-rounded education, and the Grand National Championships are a pinnacle experience for the bands. The performances of students at the Bands of America Grand Nationals showcase the results that come from the dedication and teamwork necessary for the achievement of excellence, on the performance field and in life beyond. Bands of America events advocate for maintaining and growing our national commitment to music and arts education, with the student performers making the case in the most visible, artistic, and entertaining way possible, something each and every American should witness and experience.”

Gates open on Wednesday, November 8 at 6:30 p.m. for the Indianapolis Marching Band Tournament. This event begins at 7:00 p.m. and will conclude at 9:30 p.m. with the awards ceremony. The Grand National Championships preliminary competition begins on Thursday, November 9 at 8:45 a.m. and will conclude at 11:00 p.m. The preliminary competition resumes on Friday November 10 at 7:00 a.m. and concludes at 9:30 p.m. with the awards ceremony. Gates will open for the Semi-Finals competition on Saturday, November 11 at 6:45 a.m. with performances beginning at approximately 7:15 a.m., and will conclude at 5:00 p.m. Gates open for the Finals competition on Saturday, November 11 at 6:30 p.m. with performances beginning at 8:00 p.m. All times are tentative pending the final schedule of performing bands. Current times will be listed at

Special Events
Four college bands will perform in exhibition: Marian University Marching Knights on Wednesday at the Indianapolis Marching Band Tournament, Bowling Green State University Falcon Marching Band on Friday evening, the University of Alabama Million Dollar Band on Friday evening, and The Miami University Marching Band on Saturday afternoon.

Friday evening’s festivities will include the presentation of the Patrick John Hughes Parent/Booster Award, a national award honoring an outstanding band parent and supporter and named in honor of Louisville resident Patrick John Hughes, co-author with his son Patrick Henry of “I Am Potential.”

Special events include programs for future music educators, student leaders, music education advocates and a three-day Expo in Lucas Oil Stadium.

Ticket Information
Tickets are still available for the Grand National Championships at, Ticketmaster by phone and at the Lucas Oil Stadium ticket office. Tickets for the four days of events range from $5 to $117. See all ticket prices at Children ages 10 and under are free for general admission seats. A $5 off any general admission ticket (individual Preliminaries and Semi-Finals) discount will be available at the gate for college students with an ID, spectators 11-18 years of age, military members and spouses (military ID required), and spectators age 62 and over.

About Music for All

Since 1975, Music for All, through its Music for All, Bands of America, Orchestra America, and choir programs, has been a destination and set the standard for scholastic music ensemble performance and music education advocacy. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization, Music for All’s mission is to create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all. Music for All’s vision is to be a catalyst to ensure that every child in America has access and opportunity for active music making in his or her scholastic environment. Music for All’s programs include 30+ annual events, including the Bands of America Grand National Championships and Regional Championships for marching bands, the Music for All Summer Symposium camp for students and teachers, the Music for All National Festival and Affiliate Regional Music Festivals for concert bands, orchestras, choirs, chamber ensembles, percussion ensembles, and the national honor concert band, jazz band, orchestra, and the Bands of America Honor Band that will march for the fifth time in the Rose Parade® in 2021.