The marching band at Oakton High School has won the first-ever For Whom the Band Tolls contest, an international marching band from heavy-metal band Metallica. The marching band won first place in the small high school category, taking home a prize of $15,000 worth of musical equipment.
In April, the band challenged high school and college marching bands to “craft the most exciting, unique, and impressive performances of Metallica’s music.” Bands could access marching band charts and sheet music of the songs, then submitted videos of their performances.
Over 450 bands submitted videos in total. Those submissions were broken into five categories, for Division 1 colleges, Division 2 and 3 colleges, and small, medium, and large high schools.
Submissions were narrowed down to five finalists per category by a panel of professional judges, then the members of Metallica determined the final winners.
Oakton High School submitted a recording of a choreographed performance called Parade to Black, in which students twirled flags, marched in sync, and played a medley of Metallica songs including For Whom the Bell Tolls, Turn the Page, and The Memory Remains.
The performance earned them the first-place prize in the small high school category.
“Congrats to our amazing students, inspiring staff, and Dr. Jamie VanValkenburg on this once in a lifetime accomplishment!” The Band Boosters of Oakton High School wrote in a Facebook post. “We are so thankful to Metallica for this recognition and for bringing more visibility to the world of marching band.”
Metallica has some NoVA ties itself, as the band recently purchased a major interest in the Alexandria-area Furnace Record Pressing.
Feature image of Metallica courtesy Metallica/Tim Saccenti
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