Post by boahistorybuff on Jul 10, 2020 6:33:26 GMT -6
Even though the official Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) State Championships did not begin until 1986, high level competitive marching band competitions in and around Kentucky go all the way back into the 1960s and 1970s. In fact, prior to 1986, Kentucky had several nationally acclaimed marching bands. During the 1970s, Murray HS made a huge statement by their surprise win at the 1977 Grand National Championships, winning the Class A title and claiming the overall Grand National title; the only Kentucky band to win a GN title. Murray's success during the 1970s and early 1980s was somewhat brief. Lafayette HS and George Rogers Clark HS were sctually very strong throughout the entire 1970s. These two bands won multiple Middle Tennessee State University Contest of Champion titles in the 1970s. This was a very prestigious competition back then. Videos I have seen of these two bands certainly suggest they were among the best in the nation during that era. These of course were just a few examples as Kentucky actually had several well renown marching bands in the 1970s. Lafayette remained strong through the 1980s. George Rogers Clark did as well, although they were not quite as successful during the first half of the decade. The Marching Admirals of Danville HS, a very good small band program in the late 1970s, were very strong in the early 1980s. This included two Grand National Class A titles and two top 6 finishes in GN finals. In 1982 they also became the first Kentucky band to win a BOA (or MBA back then) regional title. North Hardin HS also emerged very strong in the early 1980s and won multiple MTSU Contest of Champion titles. They remained very dominant in state competitions through the entire decade. They only attended two BOA Grand Nationals or they would have had more BOA success that decade. In the 1990s, it was Lafayette who then dominated state competitions. They did not attend BOA in the early 1990s as they too would have had much BOA success.
For its population, Kentucky has produced a very large number of quality marching bands. Many of these bands have come from small schools. Kentucky has more BOA Grand National Class A titles than any other state. For me, I have always found Kentucky marching bands to be enjoyable to watch. Many of the strong Kentucky programs have always seemed to have a good deal of audience appeal, at least from my perspective. Kentucky, like many states, has had one or two bands that have been very dominate in the state championships over the decades. Lafayette has won 21 state titles in the large school class. Although they have competed in smaller school classes, Adair County actually has 24 state titles, more than any other Kentucky band.
There is a very good Wikipedia page that gives a good bit of history about the KMEA state championships found here.
I will include the results of the KMEA state championship finals below. The complete KMEA results can be found here.