What Class Am I?

An easy guide to choosing the correct classification for 2013

USBands, like many other indoor circuits, offers a variety of classifications based on skill level and program design in an effort to best serve our member units and the performers. Each year we receive countless questions from directors regarding how they should classify their students. How do these translate into other circuits? How do I determine what is right for my program?

Each group is divided up by class – Elementary, Junior/Novice, A, AA and AAA. If your marching band competes in the A Class, that does not necessarily mean that all of your indoor units will be in the A Class as well.

  • If you have multiple programs to take into consideration, the youngest students would be classified in the Elementary group.
  • The Novice/Junior class is for units who are just beginning to explore the most basic skills and performance abilities.  Brand-new programs and groups primarily made up of middle school students, early high school students, or relatively inexperienced performers would fit in this classification.
  • The A Class should be reserved for high school units whose skills are at the basic level. Simple design allows for the performers to grow during the season.
  • In our intermediate AA Class, students should begin to perform with a higher level of skill, as their show designers explore moderately complex show concepts and writing ability. While these students may not quite be ready to take their performance to the highest level, they have a solid understanding of what is being asked of them and can test advanced skills.
  • The highest classification offered in USBands competition is the AAA Class. Experienced units and seasoned performers fall into this category. In this class, you would typically see more advanced show designs being performed at a high level by the students. Groups here may also have more access to top-level instructors, funding and rehearsal time, but don’t forget that all the resources in the world can still be beat by natural talent!

For percussion groups, USBands classification can also be broken into three categories. When registering, you can chose between:

  • Marching Percussion – Do you play and move? This is you.
  • Standstill Percussion – This is for groups that utilize both pit percussion and a battery, but the battery does not march.
  • Concert Percussion – Pit Percussion only

Choosing your classification is not solely based on the skill set of your performers; the level of writing should be taken into consideration as well. Simple vs. complex concepts and the experience of the writers can elevate a program to a higher class. Prior achievements, the classification of the marching program in the fall, and the amount of resources available to each program could also affect which classification you choose.

If you have any questions, we have a large network of adjudicators and educators who have compiled years of performing and writing experience for many indoor circuits. Please feel free to contact any member of the USBands staff to figure out the best classification for you.

Band Relations Staff:
Melissa Reese - MReese@yea.org, 610-821-0345 ext. 129
Jon Swengler - Jonathan@yea.org, 610-821-0345 ext. 113

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