USBands Weekend Recap: Open Class National Championships

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The final weekend of the 2017 Fall USBands season came to a chilly close yesterday on November, 11 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. 59 bands competed in one of the marching art's most exciting venues on the coldest competition day in recent USBands memory. Thousands of students and spectators alike braved the low temperatures to finish the season with a bang. 

"Despite the cold weather, we were able to finish the season with a great National Championship competition," said George Hopkins, CEO of Youth Education in the Arts. "Our Cold Weather Action Plan was a success and we were able to keep students as warm as possible before and after they took the field."

Traveling from as far away as Paragould, Arkansas, Open Class ensembles from across the country took the field looking for a first place finish. In Group I, Burlington City High School took top honors with a score of 95.425. Shepherd Hill Regional High School won first place in Group II with a score of 96.400. Group III saw Calvert Hall College High School take first place with a score of 96.588. Newtown High School took the Group IV top spot with a score of 97.363 to win in the largest group of the day. With a score of 98.350, Dartmouth High School won first place in the Group V portion of the competition. In the final group of the night, Norwalk High School earned a score of 97.775 to become the Group VI Open National Champions.

You can read a full list of scores from the event here. The caption awards are as follows:

Group I Open

  • Music Performance - Burlington City High School
  • Visual Performance - Delran High School
  • Overall Effect - Burlington City High School
  • Color Guard - Haddon Heights High School
  • Percussion - Bishop Feehan High School

Group II Open23559506 1556166594470691 6309080155858105143 n

  • Music Performance - Shepherd Hill Regional High School
  • Visual Performance - Shepherd Hill Regional High School 
  • Overall Effect - Shepherd Hill Regional High School
  • Color Guard - Lenape Regional High School 
  • Percussion - Fair Lawn High School

Group III Open

  • Music Performance - Calvert Hall College High School
  • Visual Performance - Calvert Hall College High School
  • Overall Effect - North Warren Regional High School
  • Color Guard - Susquehanna Township High School
  • Percussion - Westhill High School

Group IV Open 

  • Music Performance - King Philip Regional High School
  • Visual Performance - Edison High School (NJ)
  • Overall Effect - Newtown High School
  • Color Guard - Naugatuck High School
  • Percussion - Newtown High School

Group V Open

  • Music Performance - Dartmouth High School 
  • Visual Performance - Dartmouth High School
  • Overall Effect - Dartmouth High School
  • Color Guard - Dartmouth High School
  • Percussion - Dartmouth High School

Group VI Open

  • Music Performance - Norwalk High School
  • Visual Performance - Trumbull High School
  • Overall Effect - Norwalk High School
  • Color Guard - Trumbull High School
  • Percussion - Trumbull High School


23519340 1556166117804072 2339210420369243122 nWhile the event featured Open Class competitors from across the country, three additional groups took the field for one last fall performance in 2017. Stroudsburg Area High School from Stroudsburg, PA and Bergenfield High School from Bergenfield, NJ competed in the Festival Class. Additionally, the FREE Players Drum Corps from Old Bethpage, NY performed their show in exhibition at their fourth USBands event of the season. The FREE Players Drum Corps is a performing ensemble that travels the country competing at world class marching music events. They are the first differently-abled drum and bugle corps in the world and work to enable their members to build their sense of unity.

To view photos of the USBands 2017 Open Class National Championships, click the button below or check out our Facebook page.

Jolesch Photography


If you're still looking for USBands gear from Open Class Nationals, you can grab them by clicking the button below.

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With the end of the 2017 Fall season, the team at USBands shifts gears and moves toward the indoor and concert season events, and even the 2018 Fall season. Keep up to date on the latest USBands news by making sure you're subscribed to our emails and you like us on Facebook. 


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