The Stock Market of Band

The Stock Market of Band

By Jakob Budge

Let’s talk about stocks. Based on results from the phenomenal 2015 season, this is your guide of which bands to buy stock in right this instant, which bands to hold onto and not panic, and some sleeper bands to invest in that many people might not have noticed. That is if you could buy stock in a band like you could in a business. Season-to-season predictions are a fickle thing, but keep in mind, like all investments, this is not meant to be for next fall, but rather for 3+ years in the future. Without further ado, this is your guide to investing in the theoretical stock market of marching band.

Buy Now

Homestead (CA) performs at the 2015 Grand National Championships // Photo by Claire Albrecht
William Mason: If there’s one band you want to own stock in, it’s William Mason. I absolutely loved their show this year, and they finished higher than even I expected them to. In the last few years, their improvement within Grand Nats Finals has been incredible. Within the next five years, barring something crazy happening, I firmly believe the Eagle will be in Ohio.

Blue Springs: The first band to make finals from Missouri is second on my list of stock to invest in. I live in Missouri, so consider this a heartfelt "congratulations" to anyone from Blue Springs. The sky’s the limit for this Kansas City program, so invest while you can. My five-year projection for these guys does not include the Eagle, but I do think that they will be in the discussion for best band in the country.

Flower Mound: I can’t not include Flower Mound. They blew all expectations away at San Antonio, and their explosion onto the scene last year took everyone by surprise. Are they too good to be true? I could see them being a flame out, except they are surrounded by pure excellence in Texas and I just can’t pick against the kind of success they had this year. Within the next five years, I think they will be back in Indianapolis at least once as the favorite to win it all.

California Bands: We all know Ayala, and their success is constant. But Homestead (CA) was phenomenal in prelims at Grand Nationals, easily made semifinals, and then seemingly slipped out of everyone’s minds. Well, they placed 19th, less than five points out of finals. At the American Canyon regional, they were second, ahead of Clovis West, a great program, and three points behind Saratoga. If Saratoga were to attend Grand Nats, would they be a potential finalist? I’m investing in the state of California bands, and in the next five years, I’m willing to bet a program not named Ayala from the Golden State makes finals.

Hold On, Don't Panic

Franklin (TN) saxophones perform at the 2015 Grand National Championships // Photo by Tom White
Franklin: Yes, they fell enough in placements to scare us last year, but they returned to inching ever closer to a finals berth. This time around, they finished 13th and just .6 out of finals. It's good to see them back on track, and within five years, I think they make it into finals (and maybe sooner than we think).

Dobyns-Bennett: Let's just keep calm with the Tennessee bands. DB is another great program from the Volunteer State, and although many people think they took a step back this year, I believe they were a little overhyped coming into the season, and they placed exactly where we at HornRank were expecting. I think that they are on a similar trajectory as Franklin, and they will also make an appearance in finals within five years.

Eden Prairie and Rosemount: Eden Prairie not making semifinals was a shocker to everyone and undoubtedly will have dampened the expectations of many for Minnesota bands in the future. However, I don’t think it is time to jump ship yet. I’m always a big fan of these bands when I see them in person, and I think that Eden Prairie missing semis is just a blip. In five years, these bands will still be perennially in the top half at St. Louis.

Wando: I’ll be the first to admit, their placement at Atlanta was concerning. But when you consider the environment that this school was in, I don’t think there’s any reason for the worrying. The only concern in this situation goes to the town, the school, and the victims of the flooding in South Carolina. I don’t personally know the details or extent of the damage, but I’m confident that Wando returns to finals and is contending once more in much less than five years. We at HornRank wish the best of luck to all involved in the recovery.

Some Under-the-Radar Groups

Blue Springs South (MO) performs at the 2015 Clarksville Regional // Photo by Jeremiah Wooten
Blue Springs South: Yes, as the name would suggest, these guys are just south of the aforementioned Blue Springs. No, they are not as well known, nor do they have the same resume as the first finalist from Missouri. But they have a similar situation and program, have a great reputation and high expectations within the state, and I think that within five years, they will be quite the force to be reckoned with. Clarksville was just the beginning.

Lincoln: In person at the St. Louis Super Regional, these guys were one of my absolute favorites, and I was blown away by their volume of sound. Overall, I just came away impressed. South Dakota isn’t a state usually associated with the marching band scene, but I think that within five years, Lincoln will put it on the map. Look for continued success and improvement at St. Louis, and I would be fascinated to see them at Grand Nationals.

North Hardin: They made their first appearance in our Top 30 this year, and I don’t think it will be their last. They’ve quietly been having great success in Kentucky and at BOA events for years, and at the Dayton regional this year, they were just 3.3 points behind Carmel. I believe Kentucky is a rebounding state on the Bands of America scene, and North Hardin is leading the charge. Expect them to be in the Grand National Finals bubble discussion in the coming years.

Joe E. Newsome: This band from Florida made their first BOA appearance ever this season, and boy was it quite the debut. Winning the Newark Regional is not an easy feat, and although there are certainly more competitive events, a win over the likes of Norwin, Trumbull, and James Madison is no joke. I don’t know what trajectory the Newsome band is on since there’s simply no past information to go by, but if they continue this level of success, I’m willing to bet that in five years they could be recognized as the second-best marching program in Florida.

Agree? Disagree? I’d love to know which bands you feel are the right ones to “invest” in. Let me know in the comments who your choices would be. The future is undeniably bright for BOA, so there are plenty to choose from.