CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) – Brooks Stadium became center stage for the Bands of America Regional Championship.

The competition saw a total of 23 high school bands from South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia, showcasing their musical skills in hopes of winning the championship trophy.

Bands of America, a non-profit music advocacy organization founded in 1975, spearheaded this event with a mission to create, provide, and expand positive life-changing experiences through music.

Despite a rainy and cold start to the day, Mark Sternberg, Contest Director & Director of Technology for Bands of America, was delighted with the day’s outcome.

“We’re super excited. This is our first time here at Coastal Carolina University, and they’ve been wonderful to work with so far. Lots of happy bands, happy band directors, and students. The weather cleared out, so it’s been a great day so far,” Sternberg said.

A panel of band experts and music educators evaluated each band. The top 12 bands were selected to recompete, and the night ended with the crowning of the regional champion.

Jesse Willis, Associate Professor of Music & Director of Percussion Studies at Coastal Carolina University, expressed his pride in hosting the Carolinas Regional for the first time.

“We are very honored and proud to be hosting this Carolinas Regional for the first time this year. It’s great to see so many bands that are excited to participate here and come check out the university, in addition to showcasing their fantastic musicianship in this area of the country,” Willis said.

High school bands participating in this event have dedicated months to perfecting their performances, making this regional competition a testament to their commitment to the art of music.

This regional competition was one of 29 taking place throughout the country this year, boasting participation from more than 650 bands.

The Bands of America season will conclude with the Grand National Championships in Indianapolis.

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Gracie is a multimedia journalist at News 13 and is from Cleveland, Ohio. Gracie joined the team in June 2023 after graduating from the University of Alabama in May. Follow Gracie on Facebook, Instagram and X, formerly Twitter, & read more of her work here.