Nine local high school marching bands performed before a large crowd and sunny skies Sunday at McCoy Field during New Bedford High School's 31st Annual Marching Band Competition. 

The New Bedford Whalers hosted local schools: B.M.C. Durfee High School, Falmouth High School, Joseph Case High School, Tewksbury Memorial High School, Somerset-Berkley High School, Plymouth High School, Dartmouth High School and Blackstone-Millville Regional High School.

Of the nine schools, they were divided into six divisions based on size of the band and scored based on division rubrics.

"The divisions are ranked competitively against each other," said NBHS Band Director Matthew Pacheco. "It's all the same size of bands, more or less, so it makes it fair when the judges are scoring against the rubrics."

The Whalers Marching Band took first in Division 3, while the Dartmouth Indians took first in Division 5, the largest of the groupings.

The NBHS students didn't take their "home field advantage" for granted, as many appreciated playing in front of family and friends.

"This is always the best competition of the year," said senior Brian Rego. "Getting to play at home for the home crowd, getting to see the audience get hyped-up for you and have a blast and it's a really great experience. I'm never going to forget it."

Pacheco added that in a climate where it can sometimes be tough for schools to support band programs, the NBHS competition is a place for all to demonstrate their talents.

"We hope that having a show here allows some of those schools who are competitive, or maybe not so much and that are on the rebound, to be able to find a place to perform and keep this activity going," Pacheco said.

School Score
Marching Band Festival Class  
BMC Durfee HS Bronze
Marching Band Division 1  
Joseph Case HS 85.50
Somerset-Berkley HS 81.40
Tewksbury HS 74.00
Marching Band Division 2  
Falmouth HS 77.00
Marching Band Division 3  
New Bedford HS 84.60
Plymouth HS 75.20
Marching Band Division 4  
Blackstone-Millville Regional HS 88.90
Marching Band Division 5  
Dartmouth HS 92.70