FAIRFAX, Va. — One local high school band was named the Virginia State Champion for the second year in a row. On Thursday morning, the James Madison High School marching band was up bright and early to leave for the Grand National Championship in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Nearly 90 teams from around the nation typically compete in this competition.
The marching band's performance is called "Dusk till Dawn" and includes music like "Paint it Black" by the Rolling Stones and "Here Comes the Sun" by the Beatles.
The Director of Bands, Michael Hackbarth, said this show will be the culmination of a lot of hard work.
"Our goal for any performance or competition is to go there and do the best performance we can do as students at James Madison High School," said Hackbarth. "By doing that, we continue to push our level of performance on the marching field and off the marching field."
Hackbarth said it is a big deal to have a local school recognized on this national level.
"It is very gratifying as a teacher and director to watch the students grow as musicians and as citizens of the world," said Hackbarth.
In October, WUSA9 sat down with several members of the band after winning the prestigious Bands of America Regional Competition. Hackbarth said this is the first time a Virginia band has won a Bands of America Regional Competition in nearly 40 years.
Students said they were holding their breath while the announcer named the second-place winner.
"We pride ourselves in developing a big family that works together. A number of students who come in as a freshman stick with us until their senior year," said Hackbarth. "That is one of the reasons we have been able to achieve at this level."
The students will travel to Indianapolis to compete in the Grand Nationals on November 14 through the 16.
To follow their journey, there will be To watch the team compete live, click here.