Styles: The Bandmasters Championship welcomes bands performing all styles of shows. Adjudication is based on musical aspects (tone quality, intonation, balance, blend, etc.), visual aspects (posture, interval, equipment carriage, etc.), and general effect (creativity, entertainment value, enthusiasm) that should be evident regardless of the chosen repertoire.
Field Requirements: Each band should prepare a coordinated musical/visual show that is suitable for performance on a 100-yard football field and oriented toward one sideline. The band must be able to enter the field, setup, perform, and completely exit the field in fifteen (15) minutes.
Band instrumentation should consist primarily of wind and percussion instruments. Electronic, string and other instruments are permitted, but in moderation. This contest is designed for marching bands, not stage bands or orchestras.
Amplification of individual soloists, small ensembles, or narrators is permitted, but mass amplification of sections or an entire band is prohibited.
Recorded Music: All music must be performed live. No pre-recorded music is permitted to be played during a show.
Marching Requirements: Although there are no required maneuvers, some amount of movement by the performers is necessary to satisfy the requirements of the visual scoring captions. Performances that are exclusively stationary (standstill) or in which all performers remain on a stage or platform, are not acceptable.
Auxiliary units (i.e. color guard) are not required, but are recommended. Auxiliary units are permitted to use any type of equipment so long as it can be brought onto the field safely and without causing damage to the field or facility. Performers are allowed to shift between musical and visual (color guard) roles during a performance.
Oversized Equipment: Large pieces of equipment, or "props" such as stages, platforms and backdrops, are permitted. They must conform to the requirements set by the stadium management for equipment allowed on the field. These requirements are communicated to the bands in the Directors Guide issued prior to the contest.