What is USBands?

Founded in the fall of 1988, USBands serves as a competitive circuit for scholastic band programs nationwide and prides itself in providing world-class performance venues and the best adjudication in the marching arts to tens of thousands of students each year.

Today, USBands boasts membership of over 700 participating high school marching bands and hosts over 150 indoor and outdoor performance opportunities annually. Member bands compete in twelve different classes from I A to VI Open, performing and competing with other bands of like size and talent. 


At USBands, our focus is on education and the facilitation of events. We support both competitive and non-competitive philosophies in performance. This allows the band director to choose which method best meets the educational needs of his program. The competitive classes are broken down by total number of performing members in the ensemble. The classes are further divided into two tiers based on level of achievement. We believe this structure establishes goals that are within reach, which helps to better motivate the students and allows the band to improve more quickly.


USBands is committed to each one of it's member school's music programs.  We are involved in the local band community and are available to help your program all twelve months of the year.

USBands provides high quality service and support to high school band directors through their staff at the office in Allentown, Pa. A full time staff of twenty supports the efforts of YEA! with six of these staff members dedicated solely to USBands on a daily basis and additional part time assistance during the busy Fall competitive season.

Staff members are responsible for vital communication duties including the answering of telephones, preparing and distributing materials critical to participation in the program, marketing and promotion, plus referrals and general membership contact. Unlike most anywhere else, music educators involved with USBands can have their concerns addressed from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM EST almost any day. Additionally, during the Fall season, the YEA! office is open for business from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM EST each day.


USBands provides high school bands with well known and respected adjudicators from throughout the world of marching arts to evaluate at events sponsored or hosted by USBands. In order to offer the best, USBands flies the very best adjudicators from around the United States and Canada to performance sites. On any given weekend, over 200 judges are guests of USBands and the participating bands. Band directors participating in USBands hear feedback on their design and programming from the leaders in the activity. Execution and performance are also evaluated so that talent levels can be maximized for each participating student. During the season, judging panels hired by USBands are responsible for working within the parameters set forth by the organization and undergo several sessions of training each year to ensure the judgining criteria of USBands is met.

USBands has a unique regional clinic format available at select events that includes an extra set of judges whose purpose is not to give a number, but to look at the overall product. After each band's performance, the director, staff and students receive a private one-on-one clinic with that judge.

USBands uses national level judges and some of the top college educators and show designers in the activity at the majority of their events, relying on the talents of these highly qualified individuals in order to provide new feedback and original evaluation to the programs who participate.

USBands National Championships and State Championships

The USBands National Championship is held on the second weekend in November and hosts nearly 200 Open Class and A Class marching bands in two of the finest venues along the East coast.

State Championships are held in eight states and feature competition exclusively between the marching bands in those given states.  The State Championships are held throughout the season based on stadium availability, however, the majority of events are held on the first Saturday in November.  State Championships for 2012 will be held in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee and Texas.  Bands in Connecticut, New England and Rhode Island compete with one another in the New England State Championships.  

The USSBA Regional Championships are held throughout the areas serviced by USBands. A Regional Championship is composed of up to 50 competing bands and is usually held at a college or professional level football facility. Bands competing at a USBands Regional Championship are once again evaluated by an excellent panel of adjudicators who communicate information on design and execution to band directors and instructors for us in developing high quality programs.


In October of 1988, the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps hosted a marching band competition at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Reactions to that event were overwhelmingly positive and numerous requests were received asking the Cadets organization to become more involved in the marching band activity. In response to those requests and with the cooperation, input, and support of tri-state area band directors and instructors, the Cadets Marching Band Cooperative (CMBC) was formed.

In 1989, the CMBC launched its first season by sanctioning eleven successful local events. The 1989 season culminated in a two day Championship event at Giants Stadium. In recent years, the USSBA National, State, Regional and local shows have featured performances by some of the finest bands in over 25 different states throughout the country.

In 1997 we began an evolution and expansion into other areas beyond marching band and created a Scholastic Services organization within Youth Education in the Arts, which included the US Scholastic Band Association (USSBA). Under this banner, we intend to provide all students more opportunities to perform, representing their high schools.

With the beginning of the year 2012, Youth Education in the Arts (YEA!) announced that the US Scholastic Band Association (USSBA) would be known as USBands.