FAIRFAX, Va. — The James Madison High School band is preparing to compete in the Grand Nationals this November after winning a prestigious Bands of America Regional Competition. 

Director of Bands Michael Hackbarth said this is the first time a Virginia band has won a Bands of America Regional Competition in nearly 40 years. 

"It is really a huge deal to have James Madison recognized at what is the national level of marching bands," said Hackbarth.

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. That is one of the reasons we have been able to achieve at this level," said Hackbarth.

"Our goal for any performance or competition is to go there and do the dance performance the best we can do as students at James Madison High School. By doing that, we continue to push our level of performance on the marching field and off the marching field," said Hackbarth.

The music selection includes "Paint it Black" by the Rolling Stones and "Here Comes the Sun" by the Beatles.

The Director of Bands said the show was the culmination of a lot of hard work. 

"It is very gratifying as a teacher and director to watch the students grow as musicians and as citizens of the world," said Hackbarth.

The students will travel to Indianapolis to compete in the Grand Nationals on November 14 through the 16.

Click here to follow their journey.

James Madison Students Win Bands of America Regional Competition
Nicole DiAntonio

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