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High school bands from around the River Valley compete in Fort Smith

19 local high school marching bands competed in the ASBOA Region VIII Marching Assessment at Northside High School in Fort Smith.

FORT SMITH, Ark. — What happens on the gridiron during halftime at high school football games is about more than just entertainment. 

On Tuesday, Oct. 12, 19 high school marching bands from across the River Valley area competed in the Arkansas School Band and Orchestra Association Region VIII Marching Assessment at Northside High School.

During the assessment, bands are graded on their sound and movement, among other things, as they look to secure a chance to compete in the state competition in Little Rock.

The marching bands performed in front of parents, family, friends and peers.

Assessment judges looked to score “superior,” the highest level of scoring.

The assessment was not held last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Christopher Ha, ASBOA Region VIII Chairman, says it's important for a band to build a community and provide a creative outlet for students. 

He says there is also a major educational standpoint as this assessment is the end of the semester performance for these bands – curriculum, a rubric, and hours of practice and preparation go into the performances.

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