Chief Villanueva takes Band Fest to Corozal
The biggest national showdown of marching bands takes place this weekend in Corozal. It’s the annual Band Fest that is organized by RSV Limited. According to Band Fest Committee Member, Julia Carillo, the event was a dream of Governor General Sir Colville Young and the station C.E.O., Rene Villanueva Senior took up the task after being a part of the GG’s Music in Schools Program. The band fest has representation from Stann Creek, Orange Walk, Cayo, Corozal and the Belize District with a total of twelve groups competing for handsome cash prizes. Carillo says it is expected to be the biggest and best band fest yet.
Julia Carillo, Band Fest Committee Member, RSV Ltd.
“The band fest is this weekend; it’s the seventh of its kind and its going to be—if you’ve seen band fest over the years, you will know that it’s an excellent program, it’s an excellent family event. And you can imagine last year’s show and imagine an improvement for this year’s show, it’s going to be really, really excellent.”
“So about how many bands do you have participating this year?”
“This year we have fourteen bands taking part. Of that, twelve are competing bands. We have seven drum core and we have five marching band with wind instruments category. We also have two display bands that will be taking part.”
“And how does this competition work? There’s scoring…”
“Actually this is like several competitions within a competition. We have the category for marching band with wind instrument and the drum core. Those are the two biggest categories. They are judged based on their performance in the parade. There’s a judging point where the bands are judged based on how they perform, their uniform; how they look, the music, the coordination. It’s a group of judges who are into music, they are the ones that do the judging. Then they also are judged on the field competition, the same goes for the drum core category. There are also three categories which have nothing to do with the overall winner. There is the best dressed uniform band. They are judged on Saturday morning at eight o’clock when they are lined up. There is the drug line competition, which is basically bands going up against other bands that decide to take part—these three categories are optional, not mandatory. And then there’s the most popular marching band where fans get to text in to see which one of their favorite bands—or to support their favorite bands and based on the texts, that will determine who wins because it’s most popular. And these three categories; each of them gets a thousand dollars cash and a trophy. This has nothing to do with the overall competition which allows them to win; the drum core category wins four thousand dollars cash, trophy and individual medals and then the marching band category gets to win six thousand dollars cash, a trophy, plus individual medals plus we have prizes for second and third in both categories as well.”
The festivities start on Saturday morning with a parade that moves off at nine o’clock from the beginning of Seventh Avenue and ending at the Santiago Ricalde Stadium in Corozal. The field competition starts at one o’clock in the afternoon. Entrance fee is five dollars for children up to age twelve and eight dollars for persons thirteen years old and over.