PHILIPPI, WV (WVNS) — 33 high school bands from 25 counties across the state will compete at the 12th annual West Virginia Marching Band Invitational Championship in Philippi, West Virginia.

The almost 12 hour competition will be Saturday, October 21, 2023, at Philip Barbour High School, and starts at 10:15 a.m. and will continue throughout the day until awards later in the evening.

The invitational was named “The Official State Marching Band Championship of West Virginia” by the West Virginia State Legislature in 2017.

The finals for the 3rd annual Governor’s Cup will also be a part of the invitational. The Governor’s Cup Series includes nine preliminary competitions. Participating bands collect points by competing in the preliminary competitions, as well as the WVMBI Championship and Governor’s Cup Series finale for them to be eligible to win the Governor’s Cup and prize money.

The Governor’s Cup final awards include $5,000 to the grand champion; $3,000 to the 1st runner-up; $1,500 to the 2nd runner-up; $1,000 to the 3rd runner-up; and $500 to the 4th runner-up.

We are pleased to have such a good turnout of high school marching bands from across the Mountain State attending this year’s invitational. For the last several years, the department has partnered with Save The Music Foundation and generous donors around the state to provide musical instruments to middle schools throughout the state. Now, these students are moving into high school where they are helping to grow those marching bands. This invitational is a way for us to highlight that growing interest in music.

Randall Reid-Smith | West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History Curator

At the invitational, bands there will be judging for general effect, music, music effect, drum major, marching, percussion, color guard, majorettes and twirlers. The invitational will also include a Miss Majorette competition, and a drumline competition.

In addition to the competition, two people will be inducted into the Band Directors Hall of Fame. Dr. Scott Woodard, the current director of instrumental music, interim associate provost and associate vice president for academic affairs at West Virginia State University, the associate conductor of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and music director of the Charleston Chamber Orchestra. For more than 40 years, Deborah Westbrook taught for Preston County Schools, and became the head band director at Preston County High School in 1995, where she stayed until her retirement in June 2023.

During the invitational, West Virginia Wesleyan College will perform as an exhibition band.

Admission is $10. Five years old and younger enter for free.

The full schedule for the Marching Band Invitational is listed below:

  • 10:15 a.m.       National Anthem                
  • 10:30 a.m.       Preston High School – Class B
  • 10:45 a.m.       Hall of Fame – Deborah Westbrook       
  • 11 a.m.            Ritchie County High School – Class D2
  • 11:15 a.m.       North Marion High School – Class D1
  • 11:30 a.m.       Williamstown High School – Class C2
  • 11:45 a.m.       Buckhannon-Upshur High School – Class C1
  • Noon              St. Marys High School – Class D2
  • 12:15 p.m.      Petersburg High School – Class D1
  • 12:30 p.m.      Shady Spring High School – Class C2
  • 12:45 p.m.      LUNCH        
  • 1:15 p.m.        Liberty-Harrison High School – Class C1
  • 1:30 p.m.        Webster County High School – Class D2
  • 1:45 p.m.        Doddridge County High School – Class D1
  • 2 p.m.             Paden City High School – Class C2
  • 2:15 p.m.        Parkersburg High School – Class   C1
  • 2:30 p.m.        Calhoun County High School – Class       D2
  • 2:45 p.m.        Ravenswood High School – Class D1
  • 3 p.m.             Wirt County High School – Class C2
  • 3:15 p.m.        Liberty-Raleigh High School – Class D2
  • 3:30 p.m.        Braxton County High School – Class C1
  • 3:45 p.m.        Berkeley Springs High School – Class D2
  • 4 p.m.             Greenbrier West High School – Class D1
  • 4:15 p.m.        Poca High School – Class C2
  • 4:30 p.m.        Tyler Consolidated High School – Class C1
  • 4:45 p.m.        Westside High School – Class D2
  • 5 p.m.             James Monroe High School – Class C2
  • 5:15 p.m.        Princeton High School – Class C1
  • 5:30 p.m.        West Virginia Wesleyan College – Exhibition
  • 5:45 p.m.        Miss Majorette        
  • 6:05 p.m.        Hall of Fame – Scott Woodard                 
  • 6:15 p.m.        Hurricane High School – Class D1
  • 6:30 p.m.        Elkins High School – Class A
  • 6:45 p.m.        Robert C. Byrd High School – Class B
  • 7 p.m.             Woodrow Wilson High School – Class B
  • 7:15 p.m.        Greenbrier East High School – Class B
  • 7:30 p.m.        Philip Barbour High School – Class A
  • 7:45 p.m.        Richwood High School – Class A
  • 8 p.m.             Cabell Midland High School – Class A
  • 8:20 p.m.        Greenbrier East High School         
  • 8:26 p.m.        James Monroe High School           
  • 8:32 p.m.        Paden City High School     
  • 8:38 p.m.        Parkersburg High School
  • 8:44 p.m.        Poca High School
  • 8:50 p.m.        Princeton High School
  • 8:56 p.m.        Webster County High School       
  • 9:02 p.m.        Westside High School        
  • 9:08 p.m.        Elkins High School
  • 9:14 p.m.        Braxton County High School        
  • 9:20 p.m.        North Marion High School
  • 9:30 p.m.        AWARDS