Overview: the competition consists mainly of two events: The parade in the morning and the field show in the evening.

The Parade Competition starts at 10:00 AM in front of Robert Down School (the first (PGHS) band actually steps off at 9:50 AM at Grand and Junipero Avenues). The bands, as scheduled, move northward from the intersection of Grand and Junipero Avenues to Pine Avenue then head eastward on Pine Avenue to 8th Street. The bands first move through a warm-up area on Grand Avenue and then to a quiet area on Pine Avenue where they must march with no sound except drums played on the rim. Here the excitement builds for directly ahead lies the competition area and the judge's reviewing stand in front of Robert Down School. At the signal, and not before, each band enters the competition area with a fanfare or a drum roll. They must play the first note of their music before their last rank enters the area, and must continue playing until their last rank passes the "Competition Ends" line. Straight lines, timing and balanced sound are the easiest things for a spectator to judge. The keen eyes and ears of the judges notice a great deal more. The excitement continues as the bands move from the competition area toward the percussion area where a special competition is held featuring the percussion unit of each band. Judging of the percussion units marks the end of the parade competition.
Following the parade, bands move to Howard Cowen-Breaker Stadium where, at about 1:30 PM, a unique drill down competition is held in which individual and members compete for awards on marching skill. The drill down may be followed by a college marching band exhibition. Lastly, the parade awards ceremony is conducted to finish no later than 3PM.

The Field Show Competition begins at 4:45 PM with the playing of the National Anthem by our PGHS band plus a possible short military drill team perfomance (first band actually steps onto the field in competition at 5PM) at Howard Cowen Breaker Stadium. Unlike the parade, which is a military-type event, the field show is open to the innovative use of auxiliary units and special effects. This leads to an exciting variety of music, marching, and showmanship, though the band itself should not be overshadowed by it’s auxiliary. The bands are expected to play while both moving and standing in place. Their movements and maneuvers must be executed with precision and confidence. If a band member is unlucky enough to drop and instrument of loose a show on the field, usually he or she will leave it behind rather than interrupt the flow of the performance. The band’s choice of music as it relates to the overall performance is also considered in the judging.
Experienced educators who are qualified in their areas of marching band specialty perform judging of the competition. The bands are judged on the following basis:

MUSIC 50 %



Bands must compete in their respective class size, which is determined by band size. However, bands may also take part in open competitions (without regard to class size) in the areas of auxiliary units, percussion, drum majors, and high music.
Following the field show, at about 8:00 PM, another open drill down competition is held. The drill down may be followed by a college marching band exhibition. Lastly, the field show awards ceremony is conducted to conclude our annual event.

Summary: Results of the competitions are revealed in colorful, ceremonial awards and presentations, one in the afternoon for the parade competition and another immediately following the field show competition. Awards presented are in the form of trophies, including a six-foot sweepstakes trophy for the highest score in the parade and field show. The band festival committee encourages you to attend these presentations. The competition is exciting and very challenging; however, the talent and self-discipline exhibited by the young performers who compete makes them all winners long before the first notes of the festival are sounded.