The Michigan Competing Band Association


Flight Chart – 2018_8-29

Rules – By-laws, Rules, Judging Sheets, and Standard Operating Procedures

What is MCBA?

The Michigan Competing Band Association is a Michigan Non-profit Corporation dedicated to the promotion of instrumental music education in Michigan schools. It offers educational clinics for band directors, instructors and students featuring nationally known clinicians. MCBA sanctions marching band contests, which utilize rules and judging criteria developed and adopted by its members. MCBA holds an annual state championship contest.

Why was MCBA formed?

MCBA was formed in 1974 to offer bands in Michigan a means to compete in Drum & Bugle Corps style contests, which keep abreast of current standards and trends in the competitive marching activity.

How are bands classified?

In the spring of each year, MCBA member bands are divided into four flights of competition based upon MHSAA High School enrollment numbers that are based upon the State of Michigan second semester count. The flights are equalized in size (number of bands) as much a possible per MCBA rules.

2018 MCBA Flights of Competition (ranges will be determined after May 1, 2018)

Flight I     Higher – 1,686

Flight II    1,685 – 1,251

Flight III   1,250 –    984

Flight IV       983 –    663 

Flight V        662 –   Lower

MCBA also offers an Open Class for non-competitive bands. Open Class bands receive recorded commentary from judges and a rating, as well as a 30 minute clinic.

How are contests judged?

MCBA currently utilizes MCBA constructed judging sheets and criteria. Seven adjudicators are utilized in the scoring system:

Music Field Judge – 10% of the total score

Music Ensemble Judge – 20% of the total score

Visual Field Judge – 10% of the total score

Visual Ensemble Judge – 20% of the total score

Music General Effect Judge – 20% of the total score

Visual General Effect Judge – 20% of the total score

Total possible score = 100

Who judges MCBA contests?

MCBA hires judges from throughout the United States and Canada. It hires people who have had extensive training as judges and who are affiliated with nationally known judging organizations such as:

Drum Corps International

Bands of America

Winter Guard International

In addition to judges from organizations such as those listed above, MCBA also hires other judges that have undergone judge's training and testing, successfully completed field-trialing, maintained their judging skills, and kept abreast of current knowledge and trends.

Where and when will the championship contest be held?

From 2017–2020, the MCBA State Championship Contests will be held at Ford Field in Detroit. They will be held on the first Saturday in November of each year.

How do bands advance into the MCBA State Championship Contest?

First, a band must compete in a minimum of two MCBA sanctioned contests. (MCBA sanctions an average of 20 contests per year).

Second, a band must make application to participate in the championship contest and pay the $150.00 fee. (Any band that ultimately does not qualify for the championship contest has its championship fee refunded minus $20.00.)

Third, a band must achieve scores at MCBA sanctioned contests that place it among the ten (10) highest scoring bands in its flight competition. MCBA averages a band's two highest scores posted during the competition season to come up with a Championship Average Score or CAS. MCBA does not use scores from the first two weeks of the competition season unless a band asks that a score or scores from those contests be used.

How does one become a member of MCBA?

MCBA offers two levels of membership:

High school bands in Michigan may join as Unit Members and as such may participate in all MCBA contests, clinics, meetings, etc. Directors of Unit Member bands have voting privileges and may vote on all matters and issues that concern the association.

Those not eligible to join as Unit Members or not interested in being a Unit Member may join as Associate Members. Associate members receive association mailing and may attend MCBA general membership meetings. Associate members do not have voting privileges. Interested parents of band members and band booster groups are typical Associate Members of MCBA.

Membership forms can be found on the Paper Work link.

What does it cost to join MCBA?

Unit Membership Fee -- $150.00 per year

Assoc. Membership Fee -- $40.00 per year

MCBA Scholarships

MCBA awards up to four $2,000.00 scholarships to deserving students from Michigan high schools that are members of MCBA. Band directors nominate their students. The selection criteria include grade point averages, past honors and awards, previous music training and participation in solo and ensemble venues. The student applicant is asked to write a paragraph stating why he/she should be considered for the scholarship award. The scholarship selection committee consists of university/college music faculty members that are not in any way associated with MCBA.


10237 Seymour Road

Montrose, MI 48457-9014

Phone: (810) 639-2442

Fax:   (810) 639-3786

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