Florida bands show steady growth

USSBA events becoming more popular in south

The US Scholastic Band Association presents over 150 events in 17 different states this fall, and one state showing growth on the USSBA map for the past few years is Florida.

“It’s been exciting to watch the USSBA be introduced to the band programs in Florida. We’ve really been able to see it catch on,” says USSBA staffer Courtney Beard.


Over the course of its history the USSBA had a minor presence in Florida but in 2009 Matanzas High School in North Florida became the first school in a number of years to host a USSBA event. Beard says, “The band director at Matanzas, Steve Knob, had been familiar with the USSBA from his association with another school but no one else who attended that first show had ever been exposed to the circuit before, it was new to everyone. The post show surveys for the 2009 Matanzas show were positively glowing; everyone wanted to know how they could be more involved with the USSBA.”

The participating bands continued to stay in touch with the USSBA office staff and 2010 saw additional events added to the calendar, each of which again created excitement in the attending bands. As a result, there have been more events added to the schedule again and the Fall of 2011 will present four events in Florida.

The quick growth in the state prompted USSBA band relations representative Jon Swengler to travel to Florida this past winter. “It was really rewarding to be able to be there and discuss the USSBA with the directors in person. Everyone was genuinely interested in what this fall’s events would have to offer and I really enjoyed learning more about the marching culture in the Sunshine State” says Swengler. “I believe it’s the judging that is most appealing in the area. The idea of having an organization pull together nationally qualified judges for a band show hosted by a high school is something that’s new to them. As more events are available I hope the bands will also benefit from the consistency that multiple USSBA events can offer.”

The 2011 Florida events are: Oct. 1, Oakleaf High School; Oct. 8, Yulee High School; Oct. 22, Duncan U. Fletcher High School; and Oct. 29, Matanzas High School. To learn more about the USSBA in Florida or register for events, contact Jon Swengler at 610-821-0345 ext. 113 or email Jonathan@YEA.org.


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