What Homestead’s Big Announcement Means for the BOA World

What Homestead’s Big Announcement Means for the BOA World

By Will Barnette

Homestead, IN, one of the top bands in Indiana, will be attending Grand Nationals and the Indianapolis Super Regional in their first BOA appearances since 1994. Homestead has been widely known as the best non BOA group in the nation, consistently hanging with and even defeating top Indiana groups like Avon, Carmel, Lawrence Central, and Center Grove over the last several seasons at the state level. What will their appearance mean for the rest of the BOA field? Here are some initial thoughts and questions we have.

Homestead's State placements for the past 20 years
1. Homestead’s State Placements
Homestead's recent state placements suggest that they would place high at BOA events…but can those results be trusted? Since 1994 (the last year Homestead competed in a BOA event), their main competition of the season has been the ISSMA Marching Band State Finals. Their placements over the past two decades in that event are staggering: 1994-1996: 1st, 1997-1998, 2nd, 1999, 3rd, 2000-2002, 4th, 2003, 2nd, 2004, 4th, 2005, T-2nd, 2006, 3rd, 2007-2009, 4th, 2010, 3rd, 2011, 1st, 2012, 2nd, 2013, 3rd.

The list of bands that beat Homestead at least once during that stretch is impressive: Lawrence Central, Center Grove, Carmel, Castle, Avon, Ben Davis…and that’s it. The fact that they've never been lower than 4th in the state championships of one of, if not the best state for marching bands in the nation is insane. Also, in 2011, they defeated the second and third place bands at Grand Nationals in Carmel and Avon. But are the state sheets drastically different from the BOA sheets? Has Homestead tailored their shows around ISSMA while the others have built their shows around BOA? My answer is this: regardless of what the judges are looking for, you have to be good to be in finals in Class A with the great Indiana bands every year, but your band program has to incredible to be that good for that long. There isn't another Class A band in the state of Indiana has stayed in the top 4 every year since 1994. I think that these results must be looked at as we prepare for Homestead’s BOA reappearance.

Where would Homestead have ranked in our 2013 BOA Top 30?
This is a hard question to answer because ISSMA only releases placements. The general public has no idea if Homestead was just barely behind Carmel for 3rd this year or closer to bands like Lake Central, Center Grove, and Lawrence Central. I would guess that they would have landed somewhere between 8th (James Bowie) and 16th (Lawrence Central) in our BOA Top 30 had they been attending BOA events.

What does Homestead’s BOA reappearance mean for the Indiana community?
I don't live in Indiana, so I can't really answer this question, but I'm going to anyway. It means that ISSMA and the Indianapolis Super Regional matter even more than they did before. The Indy super will give many people a first look at the Homestead band they've heard much about, but never actually seen before. It also serves as a gauge; Homestead’s show and placement at the Indy super will shape the talk nationally about the contenders, locks, and bubble bands for Grand National Finals.

Expect more coverage on this story and what it means for BOA in the coming weeks.

Editors note: Although we do have multiple reputable sources that have to told us Homestead will be attending the Indianapolis Super Regional and Grand Nationals in 2014, there has been no such announcement from BOA or the Homestead Band. We have reached out to the directors of the Homestead Band for comment, but as of publication time, they have not responded. Update: When the enrolled bands lists were released, we were able to confirm that Homestead is indeed attending these events.