CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Several Central Illinois high schools dominated the leaderboard at the Illinois Marching Band Championships competition over the weekend.

The competition, held at Memorial Stadium in Champaign has been hosted by University of Illinois Bands since 1973. This year, 40 Illinois high school bands competed at the event.

In Class 1A, Watseka High School won in every category, including Best Music, Best Visual and Best General Effect. They also took home first place in their class. Hoopeston Area High School took home third place in the same class.

Monticello High School was equally successful in Class 2A, winning in each category and taking home first place in their class. Effingham High School and Newton Community High School placed 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Similarly, Mahomet-Seymour High School won in all three categories and took home first place in their class. Mahomet-Seymour achieved the added distinction of winning the Governor’s Grand Champion Trophy. This award is given to the top-performing band across 1A, 2A, and 3A classes.

Mahomet-Seymour has a long history of performing well at this competition. Having competed in this show 27 times, they have won 14 Class Championships and 11 Governor’s Grand Championships. 

“Our students work extremely hard on a daily basis to prepare for our competition season,” Mahomet-Seymour band director Michael Stevens said. “They strive to give their best effort, to display a high level of musicianship, and show outstanding professionalism as have other Mahomet-Seymour bands before them.”

Their show this season was entitled “The Twilight Zone” featuring three songs. These include “On the Waterfront”, “Scene d’Amour,” and “On Dangerous Ground.”

“Our kids really enjoy being able to perform at Memorial Stadium,” Stevens said. “The journey to get from June to October is grueling but to be noticed for our commitment to excellence at a competition makes it very satisfying. The students were very happy to be recognized.”