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Major band competition coming to FHS

The Rosemount High School band will come to Farmington to defend its multiple Youth in Music titles.

It’s a series of circumstances that brings the statewide Youth In Music Band Championships to Farmington High School’s Tiger Stadium. But area folks who enjoy marching bands and field shows probably won’t argue with the location.

Scheduled for Oct. 11, the tenth annual Youth In Music Band Competition will feature 14 competition bands, two guest exhibition bands and an exhibition performance by the FHS Tiger Marching Band.

Since its inception, Youth In Music has been held at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. However, when the Metrodome came down so a new Vikings stadium could be built on that site, organizers had to find a new location. At first, YIM president Brent Turner said, the competition was moved to Chanhassen High School. But Chanhassen’s bleacher seating suffered damage due to last summer’s heavy rains, so YIM was tentatively moved to Chaska High School.

But Chaska High School didn’t have the space needed to hold a contest such as this — Youth In Music draws somewhere around 4,000 spectators — so another site was needed.

Turner said FHS is still a little on the small side. Other schools in the area have larger facilities, but many of them also participate as contestants in Youth In Music. Turner has worked with FHS band directors Erin Holmes and Jeff Gottwig in the past, though, and knew they would be willing to help with the planning.

And so, Farmington High School was selected as the new temporary home for the Youth In Music Band Competition. FHS will host YIM in 2014 and 2015. It will return to Minneapolis in 2016, when the stadium is complete.

Gates open at 10 a.m., Turner said. The competition opens with the Farmington High School Tiger Marching Band doing the Star Spangled Banner, just after 11 a.m. The competition will go until about 3:30 p.m.

The competition is broken into several classes. Typically, the bands select a theme for their year, and the costumes and field shows they bring to YIM reflect those themes. Rosemount High School — which has won every YIM state competition — has a show called “The Queen” so their performance is based around songs like “Flight of the Bumblebee.”

“They’ve been the top band in the state for a long, long time,” Turner said of the RHS band.

Hastings High School is also participating in the Class A category. Theirs is more of a renaissance theme, Turner said. Last year, Hastings took the Class A title.

On average, there will be a new band on the field every 15 minutes, Turner said. In addition to the high school bands, the University of Minnesota-Duluth marching band and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Clair band will perform.

“They’re really all over the board when it comes to the music and the costumes and the themes,” Turner said. “It’s not just halftime shows anymore. Whether it’s just driving home the theme or they’re really just trying to pull out all of the stops, it allows kids to perform at a really high level and to have some dramatic effects in their programming.”

One advantage to hosting Youth In Music locally is that the Farmington High School Tiger Band members will be able to run concessions at the event. All of the proceeds gained from concessions will go toward a fund set up to help FHS purchase new uniforms for the marching band, so it can look the part when it moves into the competition arena in the future.

Reserved tickets are $15 for adult, $10 for students and senior citizens. The reserved tickets are only available at the Youth In Music website,, and will be designated for the front sideline seating in the stadium. Admission at the gate on Oct. 11 will be $5.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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