All three Hilliard high school marching bands have qualified for the state finals.

All three Hilliard high school marching bands have qualified for the state finals.

On Sept. 25, Hilliard's marching bands performed at the 10th annual Hilliard Marching Band Invitational at Bradley's stadium complex. Because Hilliard's bands were from a host site, they performed in the "exhibition-only" classification, yet they still earned "Superior" ratings that qualified Bradley's 130 members, Darby's 140 members and Davidson's 182 members for the state finals.

Also qualifying for the state finals were marching bands from Central Crossing, Dublin Coffman, Franklin Heights and Springboro high schools.

The 2010 Ohio Music Education Association State Marching Band Finals will be held Oct. 30 and Nov. 5-6 at Dublin Coffman High School, and Oct. 31 and Nov. 7 at Dayton Welcome Stadium.

Of the 18 marching bands that performed at the Hilliard Marching Band Invitational, the following high schools won in their class: West Jefferson (Class C), London (B), Franklin Heights (A), Dublin Coffman (AA). Dublin Coffman was also named Grand Champion. The classes are based on school size. Judges from the Ohio Music Education Association rated the bands on music, marching, effects, color guard and percussion section.

"We want to thank everybody that came down," said Laurie Chilcote of the Hilliard Music Boosters, which co-hosted the invitational with the OMEA. "We have a lot of people come who don't necessarily have somebody participating in the event maybe they played in high school but it can get crowded."

Prior to the invitational, Hilliard has hosted a band festival for 32 years. In addition to being a competition and qualifier for state finals, the invitational serves another important purpose, Chilcote said.

"It is the largest fundraiser of the Hilliard Music Boosters, and it benefits the choir, orchestra and the bands from elementary through high school," Chilcote said. "This fundraiser is for the music department programs in every Hilliard city school."