Competitions & Parades

The Bearcat Marching Band participates in at least four marching competitions each year. A schedule of mandatory performances will be given out each year.

UNK Band Day

  • A.M. Parade in downtown Kearney will begin at a time to be announced.
  • Meeting point on or near Railroad Street.

Harvest of Harmony

  • Usually the first Saturday in October
  • A.M Parade in Grand Island
  • Afternoon field competition performance at Grand Island High School

Lincoln Public Schools Competition (LPS)

  • Usually the third Saturday in October; AA competition begins at 1:00 p.m. Kearney’s time will be announced. Competition is at Lincoln’s Seacrest Field, which is on A Street between 70th and 75th. Cost to attend is approximately $5-$6 per person.
  • Please take cash to get in as most competitions don’t accept checks or credit cards!

Nebraska State Bandmaster’s Association (NSBA)

  • Competition runs all day, usually the fourth Saturday in October. Location is either Omaha or Lincoln; location and time will be announced. Cost to attend is approximately $5-8 per person (take cash, they may not accept checks or credit cards)

 It is important that all students observe the “Performance Dress Code”.

  • No earrings or other jewelry.
  • No make up or nail polish (exception for Color Guard as appropriate to costumes).
  • Hair pinned up under your hat (guys, too, if your hair is long).
  • Clean uniform and clean and shined shoes.
  • A sharp appearance adds to the presentation of the band in judging.

UNK Homecoming parade in Downtown Kearney, if not on the same day as a marching competition (date to be announced)

Veteran’s Day Parade in Downtown Kearney (November 11th)

Just what is NSBA? Every fall the Nebraska State Bandmaster’s Association (NSBA) sponsors a state marching band competition. It is the “state tournament” for marching bands where they have the opportunity to perform the show they’ve worked so hard to perfect in a competitive arena. Competing at NSBA represents the culmination of the marching season.

Judging of bands at all marching competitions is based on a point system with bands scoring a certain number of points for the various parts of their performance. The bands do not compete for 1st, 2nd or 3rd place but rather they compete to achieve the highest scoring possible, based on the performance (both individual and ensemble) as well as the general effect of both the musical and visual performance are evaluated. Considerations of the judges include musically (how well you played the music), overall marching (roll stepping, feet together, shoulders back, proper form), how well the music and drill mesh, overall tone and pride in appearance and performance.

The judging criterion increases with each competition; NSBA standards being the most exacting.  NSBA is an exciting, colorful event filled with great band music. It is a very important event for the students and all the parents who have caught the Bearcat Fever.


**Parent Volunteer Opportunities

Parent sponsors are needed for all competitions. Parents ride on the buses and are responsible for taking attendance, assisting band members with uniforms and other needs as indicated by the band directors.

Truck drivers for the equipment truck are needed for each competition as well as “The Pit Crew” to assist in loading and unloading the truck and moving percussion equipment and flags on and off the field at competitions.

Bottled water is needed for each band member following competitions. Please provide a twelve pack of water and bring to the first Band Parent Association meeting. The 7-8 ounce bottles are preferred. Larger ones are often wasted.

Each year we make yard signs for the band members, encouraging them at NSBA. Parents are needed to help construct these signs.

Some competitions give parents the opportunity to purchase photographs and/or videos professionally produced. Order forms will be available somewhere on the grounds of the competition. Videos make a wonderful memory in years to come.