BLUFFTON — Fred E. Park Field at Bluffton High School was the scene of 23 marching band perform- ances Saturday.
The school has hosted its “On the Banks of the Wabash” event since 1977.
The 2011 Class A state champion Spartan Alliance of Homestead High School took top honors. Judges gave the band the highest total score in any of the four divisions.
The Bengal Brigade of host Bluffton took the field in exhibition before trophies were awarded to close the evening.
Bands will continue perfecting their shows at regional competitions each Saturday through Sept. 22. The road to the state contest begins with judging at district events Sept. 29, when Homestead will be one of the seven host schools. Bands with high enough ratings will advance to the regional competition Oct. 13, then to semistate judging on Oct. 27, and finally to the state finals at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Nov. 3.
About 25 bands, most from northeast Indiana, will perform at the Homestead Fall Festival of Bands on Oct. 6. The festival during the break between competitions will allow bands to fine-tune their shows.