Coming to Buckhannon: 28 bands, thousands of visitors to attend this summer’s international show band competition

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. — The World Association of Marching Show Bands (WAMSB) 2023 Competition is only six months away, and 28 bands from 18 countries will soon be making their way to downtown Buckhannon.

The WAMSB 2023 competition will take place July 17 to July 24, 2023, and bands will compete for the title of world champion in several disciplines of music including marching performance, drumline, symphonic, percussion, auxiliary dance and more.

“Our host committee has been working hard for the last two years to prepare for the arrival of our visitors and now only months remain until event week,” explained Randy Sanders, WAMSB 2023 Buckhannon Host Committee president. “This competition will bring the world’s most talented acts and thousands of spectators to Buckhannon.”

Sanders said 23 bands will be competing in the competition and five bands will be featured as entertainment exhibition bands.

The competing bands include: Canada’s Calgary Round-Up Band, Calgary Stetson Show Band and Calgary Stampede Showband; Colombia’s Gran Formation Drum & Bugle Corps; Costa Rica’s Banda Municipal de Pococi; Czech Republic’s ‘Městský Dechový Orchestr Cheb; El Salvador’s ‘Boinas Verdes Music Band and ‘Malissori Marching Band; Germany’s ‘Spielmannszug Hattstedt e.V; Honduras’ ‘Chorotegas Latin Band, ‘Banda Juvenil Filarmonía, ‘Lobos Music Band and ‘Bethel Marching Band; Nigeria’s ‘Oluwaseyi Stars International Band; Poland’s ‘Orkiestra Grandioso Radom and ‘Wood and Brass Marching Band; Switzerland’s ‘Showband Les Armourins and ‘Showband.ch; Taiwan’s ‘Chien Kuo High School Marching Band; Rogues Hollow Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps, ‘Green Beret Marching Band and ‘Coachella Valley Mighty Arabs from the United States; and Venezuela’s Banda Show Francisco de Miranda.

The exhibition bands are Africa’s African Marching Band; Chile’s Husares de la Muerte; Hong Kong’s ‘the twistmen.winds; Ireland’s ‘Crumlin Community Band and Sweden’s ‘Engelholm Marching Band.

“Bands and visitors will be spread out in various locations throughout the region as Buckhannon cannot accommodate everyone. This will give participants and their guests a chance to explore the state’s offerings,” Sanders noted.

West Virginia stands to reap unique, long-lasting benefits because of the international competition. Visitors to the state will give officials – at the local and state level – a reason to engage international entities, dignitaries, and others about the potential for long-term tourism, economic development, and investment opportunities. The international spotlight WAMSB has placed on the Mountain State is a tool that must be utilized, Sanders said.

“Highlighting West Virginia’s successful tourism industry, favorable economic climate and utilizing the competition to strengthen relationships between our leaders and foreign neighbors can create lasting benefits in West Virginia for generations,” explained Sanders. “The impacts ascend the excitement of the competition, and I am thrilled these benefits will ripple from Buckhannon to our neighboring counties and across the state.”

According to Sanders, WAMSB officials have traveled across the state for meetings with elected officials, economic development authorities, chambers of commerce and other entities to help prepare for the event’s influx of visitors. To provide these groups with the most up-to-date information about the event, Sanders said future meetings are currently being scheduled.

“It has been an honor to have met with and educated our partners on the various benefits of the WAMSB 2023 Competition,” Sanders stated. “I want to personally thank them for the relationships we have established, which will help us showcase the best of West Virginia and prepare everyone for this excellent opportunity,”

The organization has been raising funds to help ensure the one-of-a-kind event is a success. To date, contributions have been received from City of Buckhannon, Dutch Miller Auto Group, National Endowment of the Arts Grant, Randolph County Commission, Jenkins Ford, WE-R-FARMERS LLC – Mike Ross and I. L. Morris, Create Buckhannon, Harrison County Commission, The BPO Elks Lodge 1736, Community Care of West Virginia, Community Bank, Citizens Bank of West Virginia and Conn-Selmer.

The competitions and performances will take place at West Virginia Wesleyan College’s Ross Stadium, and events are scheduled to take place throughout the week. This event will mark only the second time in 26 years that the United States has hosted the competition.

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