ETSU hosting Bands of America Competition this weekend

Jonathan Roberts • Updated Oct 11, 2019 at 5:29 PM

For East Tennessee State University’s Marching Bucs, Saturday’s Bands of America competition brings opportunity — and pressure.

“It is great to have Bands of America back on campus as it presents multiple opportunities for the ETSU community to shine, and show what this university is all about,” said Reilly Fox, assistant director of athletic bands at ETSU.

And with 32 of the regions best high school marching bands set to compete Saturday, it’s as much a recruiting opportunity as it is a chance to showcase what the Marching Bucs are capable of doing.

“We’re excited to host it,” said Joe Moore, director of athletic bands at ETSU. “It gives people an opportunity to see our campus, and it gives them a chance to see us.

“It’s a great way to showcase what we have at ETSU to students who otherwise, who may not otherwise know we’re here or gives us a serious look,” Moore added, also saying that the competition will “absolutely” help boost ETSU’s recruiting status.

Though they won’t be competing themselves, the ETSU Marching Bucs will be giving an exhibition performance at the competition, which Fox characterized as “an opportunity to showcase what we all have collectively built” since the program returned in 2015.

“From 2004-2014, an entire generation of students did not attend ETSU solely because there was no football team, therefore, no marching band,” Fox said. “Now that each program has been back for what is now the fifth season, we have positioned ourselves to be back in the national picture for where students want to attend.”

Local bands will also be performing, with Elizabethton, Science Hill, Sullivan South, Dobyns-Bennett and South Greene all competing at the event. The first band will hit the Mini Dome turf just after 7 a.m., with performances continuing until 4:30 p.m. The finals will begin at 8 p.m. For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit www.marching.musicforall.org/event/easttennessee19/.

“I’m very proud of what our students are doing, and the commitment they’ve made to make this a positive event for everyone,” Moore said.