Normal Marching Band wins Virtual Festival of Champions


Normal Marching Band Recording Session for University of Central Missouri Competition. Picture taken by Mark R Coons.

Sadie Miyler, Staff Reporter

At the University of Central Missouri Virtual Festival, the NMB got first place out of 100 bands in the United States. The competition was held on October 17th.  

Band director, Mr. Ryan Budzinski, wrote in the NMB app, “Congratulations to the Normal Marching Band for winning the first place award in Class 4A as well as the overall Grand Championship out of 100 bands as part of the 2020 University of Central Missouri Virtual Festival of Champions.” 

The band directors are very proud of the band and how hard they have worked. While wearing face masks and social distancing throughout the season as well as the show itself.  There were no more than ten performers at any one specific area.  The directors had to get very clever with their positioning of band members in formations.

Going into competition season beginning in June, the marching band wasn’t sure how long their season would last due to the pandemic. The band was always wondering when they would get shut down, or if someone in the band would get sick.

Senior color guard captain Rachael Clapper said, ; “The guard prepared for this show by continuously practicing over the weeks. To make our show look better we would repeatedly rep sections that looked bad which overall helped our score. As a senior, it made me proud to be a part of such a great band and made all of the hard work worth it during this Covid time.” 

There are a lot of people that come together to put a band together such as band directors, marching members and especially the drum majors. Aarti Patel, senior and drum major, was asked how she felt about the results of first place during a virtual show.

Patel responded with, “I felt very joyful of placing first in the virtual competition. This show was special to me because it was my last season. This is an amazing program that I will forever be thankful for being a part of, and I felt a plethora of emotions this season. This show helped me connect a small part of my childhood with my high school career. It was a light in the darkness of this world right now.” 

The band hopes that one day they will return back to their normal practices and hopefully be able to travel and compete for in-person competitions. The NMB feels accomplished and proud of how hard and how far they have come this season. They did not let the chaos of the world affect their season and the one thing they love. Marching Band.