The Dixie Heights Marching Band enjoys a rich history of competitive success that spans over 35 years. Noteworthy titles include Kentucky AAA state champion in 1990, Mid-States AAAA champion in 2014 and 2015, and Mid-States AAA champion in 2021. Dixie Heights continues to compete in Mid-States (regional) as well as Bands of America (national) circuits, and has performed live for audiences across the Commonwealth and as far away as Great Britain. And in October 2023, Disney World will welcome the Marching Colonels back to Orlando to perform before thousands of spectators.
How to become a champion
Starting with band camp in the summer, the competition season entails countless hours of sectional and ensemble instruction and rehearsal. Students in Winds and Battery learn and perfect the glide step which enables them to play fluidly despite their (at times rapid) physical movement across the field. Students in Guard learn a broad spectrum of rhythmic movement plus spinning flags and weapons.
At each competition, several professional judges evaluate the performance and general effect of musical and visual captions. The highest total score in each class wins, with special recognition for the highest total score overall. The competitive marching season usually ends in early November.
While members benefit from the formidable depth of their instructors’ teaching experience, it is the students who ultimately determine the outcome of each performance. Private lessons are helpful, but not required. Practice outside of rehearsal is critical.
Why we march
The personal, academic and health benefits of participating in marching band are difficult to quantify and impossible to ignore. Marching band is physically demanding as well as rewarding. Students learn life lessons in teamwork and shared leadership, and typically emerge with the skills necessary for success in college and the workplace.
Most of our marching band members are in grades Nine through Twelve at Dixie Heights, but Seventh and Eighth grade students who meet academic, behavioral and musical requirements also march. Regardless of grade level, the vast majority of marching band students will do whatever they must in order to continue marching.