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2011 Open Class National Championship Review

Annapolis Events Award 6 Group Champions

Two glorious days of competition concluded the 2011 USSBA fall marching band season as over 70 of the top Open Class bands competed at the Navy & Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on the campus of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

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Saturday’s competition featured Group II Open with Frank W. Cox H.S. from Virginia Beach, Va. capturing the 2011 crown.  Runner-ups Edison H.S. from Edison, N.J and Calvert Hall College H.S. from Baltimore, Md. had fantastic performances and finishing within less than six one-hundredths of a point.

The evening session began in the afternoon with a marathon 32 band set which contained some of the tightest completion in recent memory in Group IV Open with 20 bands challenging for the title and with North Penn H.S. from Lansdale, Penn. winning Group IV Open over King Philip Regional H.S. from Wrentham, Mass. and 2010 Group IV Open Champions Nazareth Area H.S. from Nazareth, Penn.

In the Saturday evening session, Dartmouth H.S from Dartmouth, Mass. recorded a weekend high score of 98.225 in being awarded the Group V Open Championship.  Bassett H.S from Bassett, Va. and Liverpool H.S. from Liverpool, N.Y. rounded out the top three in Group V Open.

Sunday began with slightly overcast skies, but a strong, warm breeze welcomed participants in Group III Open competition.  In the tightest of all the weekend’s competitions, eighteen bands challenged for the tile with the top five finishing all within less than five tenths of a point.  Montville Township H.S. from Montville, N.J. was victorious over Williamstown H.S. from Williamstown, N.J., Shawnee H.S. from Medford, N.J., Susquehanna Township H.S. from Harrisburg, Penn. and the 2010 Group III Open Champions Rancocas Valley Regional H.S. from Mount Holly, N.J.

The evening session of the National Championships saw our smallest and largest size bands in competition as Monsignor Farrell H.S. from Staten Island, N.Y. were awarded top prize in Group I Open, and Haddon Heights from Haddon Heights, N.J. and Shepherd Hill Regional H.S. from Dudley, Mass. claimed the runner-up positions.

Group VI competition gave us the tightest National Championship winning margin in USSBA history as Munford H.S. from Munford, Tenn. garnered twenty-five hundredths of a point higher than Immaculata H.S. from Somerville, N.J.  Panther Creek H.S. from Cary, N.C. were second runners-up.

In the special awards categories, both the United States Marine Corps Esprit de Corps Award and the Cadets Award of Excellence were presented at both days of the Championships.

Master Sergeant Mitchell Martin and Master Sergeant Roger Wright were both on hand to adjudicate the Esprit de Corps Award for the National Championships.  One band per competitive session was selected for the performance based on the Marine Corps values of pride, professionalism and patriotism.  The 2011 Esprit de Corps Award Winners were:

Group II – Edison H.S. – Edison, N.J.

Group IV & V – Nazareth Area H.S. – Nazareth, Penn.

Group III – Montville Township H.S. – Montville, N.J.

Group I & VI – Immaculata H.S. – Somerville, N.J.

The Cadets Award of Excellence was also presented at the awards ceremonies at each of the competitive sessions.  The Award of Excellence is awarded to the band that best represent the Cadets traditions of excellence in music and visual design, overall effect with military bearing.  The 2011 Cadets Awards of Excellence were presented to:

            Group II – Frank W. Cox – Virginia Beach, Va.

Group IV & V – Dartmouth H.S. – Dartmouth, Mass.

Group III – Shawnee H.S. – Medford, N.J.

            Group I & VI – Immaculata H.S. – Somerville, N.J.

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