CHICAGO HEIGHTS | Nearly 1,000 band members participated in the 34th annual State of the Art Catholic Band Competition that took place on Feb. 15 at St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights, Ill.
Directors and judges from a number of well recognized high school band programs, along with representatives from Northern Illinois University, evaluated performances throughout the day.
The Spartans easily placed first in Class 3A, while tying St. Rita in the Class 2A division. Finishing only .33 points behind Guerin Prep for second place in the Class A division, ensured Marian of the overall grand championship.
“The kids just really came out to perform today,” said Band Director Greg Bimm. “It’s a great competition for the kids and Catholic schools that compete, I’m extremely proud of our kids.”
Thirteen different Catholic schools participated in the event. The Marian Symphonic Band won 3A sweeping the team awards for brass, woodwinds, and percussion.
While being recognized as grand champions of the State of the Art competition, members of the Marian Catholic Band still have their work cut out for them as they apply and look forward to the State of Illinois Invitational contest held at Illinois State University in April. Members of the Marian band will also take part in the 2014 IHSA Solo and Ensemble Music contest on Saturday at Rich South High School.
The State of the Art Catholic Band Competition was launched in 1981, originally being hosted at Driscoll Catholic High School. The competition was designed and sponsored by the Knights of Columbus since the existence of this event.
The Marian Catholic Band continues to add to their collection of accomplishments. After capturing their 34th straight Illinois state title in October, the Spartans placed ninth nationally at the 2013 Band of America Grand Nationals held in Indianapolis. Band participants also had the opportunity to march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.