Marian Catholic to Host Catholic Band Competition

The MCHS Symphonic Band rehearses.

Members of the Marian Catholic Symphonic Band practice for the State of the Art Catholic high school band competition. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

30th Annual State of the Art slated for February 20

Chicago Heights, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Over 900 Catholic high school musicians will visit Marian Catholic on Saturday, February 20 to participate in the 30th Annual State of the Art band competition, sponsored by the Illinois Knights of Columbus. Catholic high school bands from the six dioceses of Illinois and the Diocese of Gary, Indiana are invited to participate.

Twenty bands are scheduled to compete in three classifications determined by the difficulty of musical selections and whether the band has won in its classification three consecutive years.

Competing bands perform two selections of their choice, usually a march and an overture or suite, and are judged on nine elements of musical performance.

Marian Catholic is in its second year of a three-year hosting cycle.

“It’s a really great event,” said Marian Director of Bands, Greg Bimm. “We get to interact with our Catholic school colleagues and have the opportunity to hear other bands perform.”

Terry Redford, formerly of Driscoll Catholic High School, and currently Director of Bands at Lemont High School, conceived the idea of a Catholic high school band competition thirty years ago.

“Catholic school band programs have a lot to overcome,” said Redford, who managed the event for 12 years before entering the public school arena. “Programs are generally under-funded, under-staffed, and under-equipped. State of the Art is a forum where Catholic school bands can compete with the resources they have. The credit goes to the students who work so hard, yet cheer enthusiastically for everyone who participates.”

Redford was asked to be one of the judges for the 30th annual event.

“I’m honored to be a guest judge at the 30th State of the Art,” he said. “I’m thrilled that the event is still going strong.”

Band performances will begin at 8:50 a.m. on Saturday, February 20, run throughout the day, and culminate with an awards ceremony at 6:30 p.m. where Bishop Joseph N. Perry, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Vicar for Vicariate VI, will be the guest speaker.

Admission is $6 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and elementary school students. Parking is free and concessions will be available.