The popular event will be held at Lynchburg City Stadium, opening with the playing of the National Anthem by the combined middle school bands from Lynchburg City Schools at 12:45 p.m.
The Lynchburg Classic is one of the oldest band competitions in the state of Virginia. This year's lineup features 20 high school bands competing in five size categories.
In addition, five bands will perform in exhibition. Host bands are not permitted to compete for prizes, but can perform in exhibition.
The Heritage and Glass bands and LCS middle school bands will be joined by the Heritage Pride drum and flag corps from Heritage Elementary School and the Liberty University "Spirit of the Mountain" Marching Band in exhibition.
Greg Knopp is a junior at E.C. Glass and drumline section leader in the band. Knopp says, "The Lynchburg Classic is amazing because I get to see different bands from all around the state, or even out of state, come to my city and compete on the field that I usually play on."
Band parents know the sacrifices made by their students. Marching band members give up the last few weeks of their summer vacation to attend band camp in sweltering August temperatures.
Instead of sitting in the student section at home football games, they march into the stadium, play during the game to lift school spirit and spend their halftime on the field.
After late night Friday football, band students rise and shine early on Saturday mornings and climb on buses to compete in marching band competitions that last most of the day.
According to Knopp, "Marching band is a great sport and it's fun to watch. People underestimate the competitiveness and sportsmanship that goes along with high school marching band."
Like high school varsity athletes, marching band students can earn a varsity letter as a souvenir of their time in band. But for most of the students, it's all about the camaraderie they share.
Like many band parents, I played in the marching band when I was in high school. In addition to playing at high school football games, our school's band performed at many regional events including parades, NFL football games, a theme park grand opening and national events including the Rose Bowl Parade in California.
The Lynchburg Classic begins at 12:45 p.m. with the National Anthem. The Class A category bands will follow the National Anthem.
Included in the Class A bands are bands from William Campbell and Gretna. The Heritage Pride drum and flag corps will play following Class A.
Bands competing in the Class AA include Liberty, Nelson, Staunton River and Lynchburg Christian Academy. There's a dinner break before Class AAA begins at approximately 5:15 p.m.
Brookville will compete in Class AAA with several bands from the Roanoke area. Heritage will play in exhibition following the Class AAA.
Following the Class AAAA bands, which include Jefferson Forest, E.C. Glass will play in exhibition. Before the awards ceremony, Liberty University's band will perform.
A lot of work goes into a successful band competition. Band booster parents from E.C. Glass and Heritage work behind the scenes to attend to every detail.
You don't have to be a band student or parent to enjoy watching a band competition. As Knopp says, "Anyone can come to the Classic. It's not just for 'band nerds'. So if you're free on Saturday, I recommend you come out and support your local bands."
I couldn't have said it better myself. Admission to the Lynchburg Classic is only $5 per person. Those attending can come and go throughout the day. Come on out and see some of the best bands in the state right here in Lynchburg.