Bands of America 2020 season canceled

July 21, 2020 at 12:49 p.m. CT

Bands of America 2020 season canceled

By Jeremiah Wooten

This article has been updated following the release of MFA's official announcement.

Music for All today announced the cancelation of all 2020 Bands of America marching championship events, including regionals, super regionals, and the Grand National Championships.

Claudia Taylor Johnson performs at the Grand National Championships on Nov. 16, 2019. The band typically performs at 3 or more BOA events each season. // Photo by Jeremiah Wooten.
“We are facing uncertain and unprecedented times,” the organization said in an email to key volunteers and event staff. “The health, safety and wellness of the students, band directors, staff, volunteers, spectators, and others associated with our programs remain our number one priority.

The cancelation is not the first hard decision the BOA parent organization has had to make in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, the organization suspended and eventually canceled their National Festival, which was scheduled to feature over 80 concert bands, choirs, orchestras, and chamber ensembles. Just one month later, MFA announced the cancelation of Summer Symposium, a summer camp for middle and high school band and orchestra students as well as their directors and parents.

“With this extraordinary development, we share in the deep disappointment of the thousands of performing students, teachers, and supporters,” the organization said in an email.

Prior to the announcement, many bands including recent national champions Vandegrift, Carmel, and Broken Arrow had already decided to forgo a competitive season and begin exploring other performance opportunities for their students this year, with plans to return to competition for the 2021 season.

“We will begin work right away on the 2021 Bands of America Championship season, in order to announce the 2021 schedule and open registrations later this fall,” MFA said in an email. “We cannot wait to see you all on the field and in the concert hall in the future.

In the meantime, Music for All plans to provide remote evaluation opportunities for bands that are interested. These virtual performance opportunities will include feedback from BOA adjudicators. More information about the specific criteria and how to register for these opportunities will be announced at a later date.