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August Means Back to School and Back to Band Camp

Directors check out the challenges!

With the second full week of August upon us, it means the end of the summer and the beginning of school for some and the beginning of band camps for others!

As students pull out their dot books and memorize music and equipment work, band directors and staff are putting the final touches on their schedules for the coming fall. Registrations and the number of shows for 2011 are on pace to be at all-time highs; this looks to be a great season for the USSBA!

Some of the most popular events are the DeMoulin challenges, set at seven locations for 2011. The USSBA brings a prelim/final format to the bands who are a little more competitive in nature, and like the “make it or break it” format.

Debuting in 2010 at Rutgers University, N.J., the DeMoulin challenges expand to events in North Carolina, Texas, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania for 2011. For the cost-effectiveness of a weekend schedule, the two reads in one day can’t be beat. Plus, no matter if you’re a finalist band or not, the USSBA guarantees you a critique with the qualified panel of adjudicators. Non-finalist band critiques are held immediately following the prelims, while finalist band critiques are held at the traditional end of the event.

In order to spice things up a little bit, the DeMoulin Challenge held at J. Birney Crum Stadium in Allentown on Oct. 30 will feature “real-time reads,” a more intense critique with an adjudicator/clinician interaction immediately following each band’s performance. Given the fact that this show is just one week before the state championships, and two weeks before the Class A National Championships in the very same stadium, bands are excited to get this run, complete with “real-time reads,” in order to prepare for their championship performances.

The format for the DeMoulin Challenge consists of a maximum of 30 entries per event, with a maximum of 15 bands advancing to finals. Each group champion in groups I through VI from preliminary competition will be automatically seeded into the finals, with the next nine highest scoring bands, regardless of group size, advancing.

DeMoulin Challenge schedule

  • Oct. 1: Spring ISD — Spring, Texas.
  • Oct. 8: Shelton Stadium — Kyle, Texas; Burleson HS — Burleson, Texas.
  • Oct. 22: University of Massachusetts, Amherst — Amherst, Mass.
  • Oct. 29: Wake Forest University — Winston-Salem, N.C.
  • Oct. 30: J. Birney Crum Stadium — Allentown, Pa.

A limited number of performance opportunities are available for the DeMoulin challenges, so register your band today!

To register for the DeMoulin Challenge or any USSBA events, please visit, or contact Jon Swengler at, 610-821-0345 ext. 113; or Rich Hammond at, 610-821-0345 ext. 119.


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