Western Band Association
The Western Band Association (WBA) is a nonprofit organization that promotes high school music education in California, Arizona and Nevada. Specifically, the WBA organizes many marching band competitions for high school students. Its championships event is considered to be the second-largest single marching contest in the country.
In addition to marching band events, WBA also organizes concert band festivals, symposia, and musical and leadership clinics. In 2008, over 12,000 students in 133 bands performed in WBA events in multiple competitions hosted throughout the state.
The Western Band Association was started in January 1979 by marching band directors from five Northern and Central California high schools: Mike Rubino (Live Oak High School), Ramiro Barrera (James Logan High School), Dan Smith (Independence High School), Gary Runsten (Modesto High School) and Mel Stratton (Clovis High School).
In 1984, Gary Gilroy (Moreau High School) coined the name "WSMBC" Western States Marching Band Conference, which would later be shortened to WBA by Ramiro Barrera (James Logan High School) in 2002. The first WSMBC Championship was held in conjunction with the 1984 Music Bowl Prelims at James Logan High School. In 1995, John Hannan (Mission Viejo High School) helped expand the organization's efforts to include Southern California bands as well.
In recent years[when?], bands have also competed under the "WBA" banner from nearby states, including Washington, Oregon, and Nevada. The scoring system also grew to become a two-tiered criteria based curriculum designed for bands of various size memberships, assuring that the small band would have the same opportunity as the large band to achieve a high score measuring their unique orchestration and design options.
In 2006, the competition schedule has grown to offer consecutive contests in each of the three Regions (Northern, Central and Southern California) helping to alleviate the costs of travel for the bands.
In 2012, James Logan High School and Ayala High School tied for first place at the WBA Championships, with both scoring 93.40. However, the tie was broken based on Ayala's General Effect score. The tiebreaker settled Ayala as the WBA Champions.
Each individual judge is assigned to a specific caption (Individual and Ensemble Music, Individual and Ensemble Visual, General Effect, Auxiliary, and Percussion). General Effect and Music are each worth 30% of the total score, Visual is worth 20%, and Auxiliary and Percussion are each worth 10%.
Awards are released by division. The band with the highest award points for each caption per division is awarded a caption award, while the band with the most overall points in each division is awarded first place-prize. The band with most points in A/AA/AAA combined classes and AAAA/AAAAA combined classes are awarded a "sweepstakes award", with that band removed from the rankings of their class; the next band in placement in that class is moved to "first place" and so on (only for that class). Each competition will have two Sweepstakes winners, one each for A/AA/AAA and AAAA/AAAAA.
Marching band circuit
The WBA organizes a marching band circuit with competitions held throughout October and November leading up to the circuit championship competition. The circuit currently has five divisions:
- Class A: Bands with up to 60 members
- Class AA: Bands with up to 80 members
- Class AAA: Bands with up to 100 members
- Class AAAA: Bands with up to 140 members
- Class AAAAA: Bands with more than 140 members
- Prior to 2004, there were only four divisions. The original Class AA was expanded to two classes, now AA and AAA. AAA and AAAA became the current AAAA and AAAAA classes. Prior to this (before 2000), WBA had A-60, A-90, AA, and AAA as the classifications.
Class champions at the WBA Championships are determined at the conclusion of preliminary competition at championships. After prelims, the bands then move on to one of two finals competitions: the A/AA/AAA Championship and the AAAA/AAAAA Championship. The top three bands from each division move on to their respective championship and the remaining field is filled by the next highest scoring bands.
The Finals field is composed of:
- The top 3 bands from each of Class A, AA, and AAA, then the next highest 6 bands from those 3 classifications combined (regardless of class and score) for a total of 15 bands in finals.
- The top three bands from each of Class AAAA and AAAAA, then the next highest 9 bands from those 2 classifications combined (regardless of class and score) for a total of 15 bands in finals.
|Year||Class A||Class AA||Class AAA||Class AAAA||Class AAAAA|
|2000||Riverbank H.S.||Trabuco Hills H.S.||Buchanan H.S.||James Logan H.S.||- -|
|2001||Buena H.S.||Live Oak H.S.||Buchanan H.S.||James Logan H.S.||- -|
|2002||Gilroy H.S.||Bullard H.S.||Buchanan H.S.||James Logan H.S.||- -|
|2003||Newbury Park H.S.||Valley Christian H.S.||El Toro H.S.||Clovis West H.S.||- -|
|2004||Modesto H.S.||Live Oak H.S.||Valley View H.S.||Cerritos H.S.||James Logan H.S.|
|2005||Newbury Park H.S.||Live Oak H.S.||Fred C. Beyer H.S.||Trabuco Hills H.S.||James Logan H.S.|
|2006||Newbury Park H.S.||Independence H.S.||Fred C. Beyer H.S.||Nogales H.S.||James Logan H.S.|
|2007||Live Oak H.S.||Independence H.S.||Fred C. Beyer H.S.||Fountain Valley H.S.||James Logan H.S.|
|2008||Live Oak H.S.||Madera South H.S.||Fred C. Beyer H.S.||El Diamante H.S.||James Logan H.S.|
|2009||Live Oak H.S.||Valley Christian H.S.||Los Alamitos H.S.||Trabuco Hills H.S.||James Logan H.S.|
|2010||Live Oak H.S.||Clovis North H.S.||Los Alamitos H.S.||El Diamante H.S.||James Logan H.S.|
|2011||Damien H.S.||Clovis North H.S.||Basha H.S.||Granite Bay H.S.||Ayala H.S.|
|2012||Damien H.S.||Live Oak H.S||Trabuco Hills H.S||El Diamante H.S.||Ayala H.S.|
|2013||Damien H.S.||Cerritos H.S.||Nogales H.S||El Diamante H.S.||James Logan H.S.|
|2014||Live Oak H.S.||Cerritos H.S.||Trabuco Hills H.S.||Nogales H.S.||Ayala H.S.*|
- *Indicates a Tie with James Logan (score of 95.80) with winner being decided by General Effect score
Class A/AA/AAA (formerly class A/AA) sweepstakes champions
|Year||1st Place||2nd Place||3rd Place||Host City|
|2000||Trabuco Hills H.S.||Clayton Valley H.S.||Valley Christian H.S.||Stockton, CA|
|2001||Live Oak H.S.||Aliso Niguel H.S.||Bullard H.S.||Fresno, CA|
|2002||Live Oak H.S.||Bullard H.S.||Aliso Niguel H.S.||Chula Vista, CA|
|2003||Valley Christian H.S.||Bullard H.S.||Aliso Niguel H.S.||Clovis, CA|
|2004||Valley Christian H.S.||Valley View H.S.||Independence H.S.||Modesto, CA|
|2005||Fred C. Beyer H.S.||Aliso Niguel H.S.||Valley Christian H.S.||Lakewood, CA|
|2006||Fred C. Beyer H.S.||Valley Christian H.S.||Clovis H.S.||Clovis, CA|
|2007||Fred C. Beyer H.S.||Chino Hills H.S.||Aliso Niguel H.S.||Woodland Hills, CA|
|2008||Aliso Niguel H.S.||Clovis East H.S.||Fred C. Beyer H.S.||Pleasant Hill, CA|
|2009||Los Alamitos H.S.||Fred C. Beyer H.S.||Clovis East H.S.||Clovis, CA|
|2010||Los Alamitos H.S.||Valley Christian H.S.||Clovis North H.S.||Clovis, CA|
|2011||Basha H.S.||Rancho Cucamonga H.S.||Valley Christian H.S.||Santa Barbara, CA|
|2012||Trabuco Hills H.S.||Rancho Cucamonga H.S.||Los Alamitos H.S.||Clovis, CA|
|2013||Clovis North H.S.||Nogales H.S.||Los Alamitos H.S.||Clovis, CA|
|2014||Trabuco Hills H.S.||Cerritos H.S.||Chaffey H.S.||Fresno, CA|
Class AAAA/AAAAA (formerly class AAA/AAAA) sweepstakes champions
|Year||1st Place||2nd Place||3rd Place||Host City|
|2000||James Logan H.S.||Mission Viejo H.S.||Clovis West H.S.||Stockton, CA|
|2001||James Logan H.S.||Mission Viejo H.S.||Clovis West H.S.||Fresno, CA|
|2002||James Logan H.S.||Ayala H.S.||Clovis West H.S.||Chula Vista, CA|
|2003||Mission Viejo H.S.||Clovis West H.S.||Ayala H.S.||Clovis, CA|
|2004||James Logan H.S.||Mission Viejo H.S.||Upland H.S.||Pleasant Hill, CA|
|2005||James Logan H.S.||Upland H.S.||Mission Viejo H.S.||Long Beach, CA|
|2006||James Logan H.S.||Mission Viejo H.S.||Ayala H.S.||Clovis, CA|
|2007||James Logan H.S.||Upland H.S.||Mission Viejo H.S.||Monterey Park, CA|
|2008||James Logan H.S.||Mission Viejo H.S.||Ayala H.S.||Pleasant Hill, CA|
|2009||James Logan H.S.||Ayala H.S.||Mission Viejo H.S.||Clovis, CA|
|2010||James Logan H.S.||Mission Viejo H.S.||Homestead H.S.||Clovis, CA|
|2011||Ayala H.S.||James Logan H.S.||Upland H.S.||Santa Barbara, CA|
|2012||Ayala H.S.*||James Logan H.S.*||Mission Viejo H.S.||Clovis, CA|
|2013||Upland H.S.||James Logan H.S.||Mission Viejo H.S.||Clovis, CA|
|2014||James Logan H.S.||Ayala H.S.||Mission Viejo H.S.||Fresno, CA|
- *Indicates a Tie (score of 93.40)
- Grantham, Jon (2009-03-26). "WBA President's report 03/26". Western Band Association. Retrieved 2009-04-09.