Twenty marching bands to compete at Saturday event
Mariner High School is hosting the annual Preview of Champions Marching Band Competition Saturday afternoon.
Mariner High’s Silver Magic Marching Band will join 19 other marching bands from across the state to complete for the last time before the state championships.
Competitive marching bands begin their season at the same time as high school football teams.
“They start working during the summer in June to put the shows together and practice,” said Amy Yoho, event coordinator and a local band parent. “We joke that they practice longer and harder than the football teams.
“Ours is the last competition before state, and hopefully they will get to go to finals,” she added.
Schools from Miami, Orlando and Boca Raton will travel to the city to compete in the Preview of Champions.
West Boca Raton is the largest band with 140 student musicians, Yoho said.
Schools enter in one of five divisions, Class 1A to 5A, depending on the number of wind instruments.
“They compete in a preliminary performance and the top five of each division goes on to state finals, which is in Tampa Bay,” she said.
Local marching bands participating in the Preview of Champions are Cape Coral High, Ida S. Baker High, Island Coast High and South Fort Myers High.
The event begins at 3 p.m. and ends at 9:30 p.m. with the presentation of awards.
Middle school band students from the West Zone will perform the national anthem at the beginning of the competition.
“It is an amazing day for such talented kids,” said Yoho. “It is really a cool thing to see.”
Admission to the competition is $8 for adults and $4 for children ages 10 and younger.