A Superior Season: BV marching band earns Division I rating at BOA

Stiff from spending four hours on a bus, Blue Valley students take the field. Their competition is high, and all their efforts until this point went toward defeating their rivals. When they put their hearts on the field, they’re given the best news they could hope for: BV did better than they ever have done before.

BV’s marching band received their first Bands of America (BOA) Division I rating Oct. 18, dominating bands that received Division II, III and IV ratings.

“A Division I rating is what’s called a superior rating,” band director Carol Lowman said. “We’ve gotten Division I ratings at other performances but not at quite as large of a venue.”

BOA is a nationwide competition that takes place annually. This year, 15 states participated with 64 total bands.

“It’s a very tough competition,” Lowman said. “[Receiving a Division I rating] means the growth of the band program and the direction we’re moving musically as a performing ensemble are definitely the right direction.”

Senior Madison Biggs said the rating is a huge accomplishment for band.

“It was one of our best runs, but I know a lot of people were disappointed,” Biggs said. “Personally, I was really happy with our performance.”

Lowman said the Division I rating means more to the band than just placing at a competition.

“Placements are fine and good and a reflection on how you’ve done during the year and in preparation for the performance, but for it to be a Division I rating saying that we’ve got a superior performance really is what we’re looking for,” she said. “Regardless of placement, the judges found we had a really quality musical and visual performance.”

Oct. 29 marked the last band competition for the 2013 season. BV’s marching band placed second overall at Shawnee Mission North with “high music” recognition. Lowman said she is glad the BV band students’ hard work and talent paid off.

“We’re just really proud of the students and how hard they’ve worked,” Lowman said. “They’re a good group of young musicians we get to work with every day.”