Bands to return to competition at DeKalb High School

DeKALB – Following a one-year hiatus prompted by COVID-19 cancellations, the DeKalb High School Band program is bringing back its annual marching band competition this month.

The 2021 DHS Marching Band Championship will take place at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, at DeKalb High’s football stadium. The event will feature eight area marching music ensembles.

“Like everything else, the loss of an entire season of marching band was extremely hard on the marching arts community,” Steven Lundin, DHS director of bands, said in a news release. “At DHS, we were deeply committed to doing everything in our power to provide a great performance opportunity for these students who have sorely missed the opportunity to play for marching-centric audiences and see and learn from one another.”

Many of the bands slated to attend the competition were unable to even perform in 2020, let alone travel to competitions. Staff and volunteers coordinating this year’s event stressed the importance of opportunities for band students to showcase their work, encouraging the return of this show.

“There’s something special about traveling to another place to put your all into performing with band friends in front of a stadium full of people who love band,” Tracy Diehl, a competition coordinator, said in the release.

“Despite a shut down and concerns of a virus spreading, music and the performing arts still live on,” Ellen Mays, chair of the DeKalb Band Parents, said in the release. “We want to give students a chance to show their fans the product of all of their hard work.”

At the 2021 DHS Marching Band Championship, eight northern Illinois bands will perform their field shows to receive adjudication and feedback from industry professionals. Bands will compete in one of several classes based upon a combination of school and band size. There will be awards for class placement and captions, such as percussion.

Event organizers say they are working to offer a safe and successful environment at this year’s show.

“We hope visiting families will feel welcome and leave thinking they had a great experience,” Mays said in the release.

Gates will open at 12:30 p.m. with the first performance occurring at 1:30 p.m. The afternoon will end with an exhibition by the DHS Marching Barbs performing their 2021 show “This Side of the Window.” Awards for competing bands will follow.

Admission for the event is $8 for adults, $5 for students and senior and $20 for families (up to two adults plus children). Concessions will be available for purchase, including offerings from several popular local businesses. Parking is free.

To learn more about the 2021 DHS Marching Band Championship, call the DHS Music Department at 815-754-2120 or visit the event’s social media site on Facebook under 2021 DHS Marching Band Championship: