Marian Catholic High School band members display some of their awards. Pictured are Jason Smith (back row, from left), Victoria Daugherty and Sara Deck; and Ellen Chmura (seated, from left) and Sam Hart. | Supplied photo
Updated: April 3, 2014 6:12AM
Marian Catholic High School’s band program has another championship to celebrate.
The Chicago Heights school claimed the title of overall grand champion at a recent competition at St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights, according to a press release from Marian Catholic.
Nearly 1,000 band members participated in the 34th Annual State of the Art Catholic Band Competition at St. Viator, according to the release.
The Spartans easily placed first in Class 3A, while tying St. Rita in the Class 2A division. Finishing only .33 points behind Guerin Prep for second place in the Class A division ensured Marian Catholic of the overall grand championship, the release said.
Directors and judges from a number of well-recognized high school band programs, along with representatives from Northern Illinois University, evaluated performances throughout the day, the release said.
“The kids just really came out to perform today,” Marian Catholic band director Greg Bimm said in the release. “It’s a great competition for the kids and Catholic schools that compete. I’m extremely proud of our kids.”
Thirteen Catholic schools participated.
The Marian Catholic symphonic band won 3A, sweeping the team awards for brass, woodwinds and percussion.
The State of the Art Catholic Band Competition was launched in 1981, originally being hosted at Driscoll Catholic High School. The competition was designed by and has been sponsored by the Knights of Columbus since its inception.
The Marian Catholic band has had an outstanding school year. After capturing their 34th straight Illinois state title in October, the Spartans placed ninth nationally at the 2013 Band of America Grand Nationals in Indianapolis. Band participants also had the opportunity to march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
Band members still have their work cut out for them as they look forward to the State of Illinois Invitational contest in April at Illinois State University. They also are slated to take part in the 2014 IHSA Solo and Ensemble Music contest March 8 at Rich South High School in Richton Park.