45 Missouri Day Marching Festival



The Missouri Day Marching Festival is an annual event that brings together high school marching bands from all over the state to showcase their talent and compete for top honors. This festival, which has been a tradition for over a decade, is not only a celebration of music and performance but also an opportunity for students to learn, grow, and connect with their peers.

A Brief History

The Missouri Day Marching Festival was first held in 2010 with the goal of providing a platform for high school marching bands to showcase their skills and receive feedback from professional judges. Over the years, the festival has grown in popularity and has become a highly anticipated event in the state's music community.

Location and Dates

The festival takes place in various locations across Missouri, rotating each year to give different communities the opportunity to host the event. The dates for the festival are typically in late October or early November, allowing bands to prepare and fine-tune their performances throughout the fall season.

Competitive Divisions

The Missouri Day Marching Festival offers divisions for bands of different sizes and experience levels. This ensures that every participating band has a fair chance to compete against others with similar resources and skill sets. The divisions include:

Division I: Large Bands

This division is for bands with over 100 members. These bands often have extensive resources and can create complex and visually stunning performances. They compete against each other to claim the top spot in their division.

Division II: Medium Bands

Bands with 51-100 members fall into the Medium Bands division. These bands showcase their creativity and musicality while working within the limitations of a smaller ensemble. They bring their unique style and energy to the festival.

Division III: Small Bands

Small Bands, with 50 members or fewer, compete in this division. Though they may have fewer resources, these bands make up for it with their passion, dedication, and innovative performances. This division provides a platform for smaller bands to shine.

Division IV: Exhibition Bands

Exhibition Bands are non-competitive and perform solely for the purpose of entertaining and inspiring the audience. These bands often include community groups, college bands, or special ensembles that are not part of a traditional high school program.

Adjudication and Awards

The performances at the Missouri Day Marching Festival are evaluated by a panel of professional judges who specialize in marching band performances. They assess various aspects of the bands' performances, including musicality, marching technique, visual presentation, and overall effect.

Criteria for Judging

The judges use a comprehensive set of criteria to evaluate the bands. These criteria include:

Musical Performance

How well the band plays their music, including tone quality, intonation, balance, and expression.

Marching Technique

The precision and skill of the band's movements, including posture, alignment, footwork, and formations.

Visual Presentation

The overall visual impact and creativity of the band's performance, including choreography, props, color guard, and general visual effect.

General Effect

The overall impression and impact of the band's performance on the audience, including their ability to engage and entertain.


At the end of the festival, awards are presented to the top-performing bands in each division. These awards recognize excellence in various categories, such as Best Music, Best Visual Performance, Best Color Guard, and Best Overall Effect. The festival also awards a Grand Champion title to the band with the highest overall score across all divisions.

Workshops and Clinics

In addition to the competition aspect, the Missouri Day Marching Festival also offers educational opportunities for participating bands. Workshops and clinics are held throughout the day, providing valuable insights and guidance from industry professionals.

Music Workshops

Music workshops focus on enhancing the bands' musical performance skills. They may cover topics such as tone production, intonation, ensemble blend, and interpretation. These workshops provide valuable feedback and suggestions for improvement.

Marching Technique Clinics

Marching technique clinics focus on refining the bands' visual performance skills. They may cover topics such as posture, alignment, marching technique, and formations. These clinics help bands enhance their precision and overall visual impact.

Leadership and Team Building Sessions

Leadership and team building sessions aim to develop essential skills beyond musical and visual performance. These sessions focus on fostering teamwork, communication, and leadership within the bands. They help students become not only better performers but also better individuals.

Community Engagement

The Missouri Day Marching Festival is not just a competition; it's also an opportunity for bands to connect with the local community. Bands often participate in parades, perform at community events, and engage in outreach programs during their visit to the host city.


As part of the festival, bands often participate in parades, showcasing their talent and spreading joy throughout the community. These parades bring together bands, local residents, and visitors, creating a vibrant and festive atmosphere.

Community Performances

Bands also have the chance to perform at various community events, such as local fairs, fundraisers, or cultural celebrations. These performances allow bands to connect with a broader audience and share their music with people who may not have had the opportunity to attend the festival.

Outreach Programs

Many bands engage in outreach programs during their visit to the host city. They may visit local schools, conduct workshops for younger musicians, or even collaborate with other bands in the area. These programs promote music education and foster a sense of camaraderie among students.

Celebrating Missouri's Musical Talent

The Missouri Day Marching Festival is a celebration of Missouri's rich musical talent and a testament to the dedication and hard work of high school marching bands. It provides a platform for these young musicians to showcase their skills, learn from professionals, and connect with their peers.

Inspiring the Next Generation

By participating in the festival, students are inspired to continue pursuing their passion for music, whether it be in marching bands, concert bands, or other musical endeavors. The festival fosters a sense of pride and accomplishment among these young musicians, encouraging them to strive for excellence in their future endeavors.

A Community of Music Lovers

The Missouri Day Marching Festival brings together a community of music lovers, including band directors, parents, alumni, and fans. It creates an environment where everyone can appreciate the hard work and dedication that goes into creating a spectacular marching band performance. The festival strengthens the bond between musicians and their supporters.

A Tradition Worth Preserving

The Missouri Day Marching Festival has become a beloved tradition in the state's music community, and it continues to inspire and motivate generations of musicians. The festival's commitment to excellence, education, and community engagement ensures its continued success for years to come.


The Missouri Day Marching Festival is a significant event in the lives of high school marching bands in Missouri. It provides a platform for these bands to showcase their talent, compete for top honors, and grow as musicians and individuals. The festival's focus on education, community engagement, and celebration of Missouri's musical talent makes it a must-attend event for both participants and spectators alike.