Over the weekend, the Dartmouth Public Schools Marching Band won first place at Bands of America, beating out 19 other schools in the biggest competition in the region and proving that the SouthCoast, although small, is jampacked with massive talent.

Bands of America

Music for All’s Bands of America (BOA) marching band championships is the premiere event for marching bands in the nation.

“BOA’s marching band shows offer positively life-changing experiences for the students, teachers, and parents of the bands who participate, as well as fans and spectators,” the organization said.

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On Saturday, Oct. 29, bands that spanned from Pennsylvania, down to Virginia and up to New England marched onto the field at Rutgers University in New Jersey to show their stuff, but Dartmouth High School was the band that came out on top.

It's been an award-winning band for many years, but managed to achieve a first with Bands of America.

Dartmouth High Takes 1st Place in First Outing

This was the first time that Dartmouth High School has participated in Bands of America, making the victory all the sweeter.

“This is the biggest competition in this region of the country,” said Ian Flint, director of music for Dartmouth Public Schools, who has been at the helm for three years.

Watching his students succeed on the big stage was a rewarding experience.

“It’s pretty special,” he said. “These students are extremely dedicated.”

Flint explained how difficult it is to come out on top, especially for a new school.

“It usually takes 10 to 15 years to win one of these because the groups that go are typically perennial winners and it makes it hard to win it,” he said. “The group that we beat has won 25 times.”

The Key to Success for Dartmouth

Between the small size of their band and their lack of experience in the competition, all cards were stacked against Dartmouth.

“We have 93 members in the band, but typically, a band has between 150 to 250 members," Flint said. “We were the smallest group in the finals.”

Dartmouth is small but mighty, and wowed the judges with a performance called “Forgotten,” a medley of songs inspired by old western movies that painted a storyline for the crowd.

Not only did they scoop up first place, but Dartmouth High also walked away with “Outstanding Visual Performance” and “Outstanding General Effect."

Flint and his enthusiastic band look forward to returning to Bands of America next year to defend their title and prove that Dartmouth belongs at the top, where it has placed in so many other competitions.

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