Kansas University hosted 18 high school marching bands during the fifth annual Heart of America Marching Festival, Saturday at KU's Memorial Stadium.
While the Jayhawks were away, the bands came to play.
High school bands from 18 schools converged on KU's Memorial Stadium field for the fifth annual Heart of America Marching Festival.
"It's a great opportunity for these young people to perform for each other and receive comments on their performances," said KU Band director Bob Foster.
"It's uniquely American... we hear all of the time what's wrong in public schools and America and this shows something good about America. This represents some of the best teaching in America."
The marching band festival began at 11:30 a.m. Saturday with the first performance of the day by Atchison High School.
The festival ended at 5:15 p.m. Saturday with the KU Marching Jayhawks performing a musical medley of "West Side Story".
As the KU band -- complete with the Crimson Girls -- finished its performance, judges finished scoring the bands.
Judges for the festival included Chal Ragsdale, chairman of the music department at the University of Arkansas; Paul Brizzi, band director at Ankeny High School in Ankeny, Iowa; and Larry Green, former band director at Valley High School in Des Moines, Iowa.
"All of these guys (the judges) have been involved with bands nationally and are very involved professionally," Foster said.
"The bands that are here are all very good, so you start with the best ones there are."
The marching bands' performances were graded on a one-to-five scale with one being the best score.
After the judges completed their scoring, each band's score was announced.
Every band received a packet containing the judges' comments, an audio tape of the performance and a plague for participation.
Despite problems scheduling practices, the Lawrence High School Band received a superior score for its "Rock and Roll Reunion" medley of such rock classics as Alice Cooper's "Schools Out" and The Animals' "House of The Rising Sun."
"Wee started (preparing for the festival) Aug. 1, with summer band and we got to practice here (Memorial Stadium) yesterday (Friday) morning," said LHS Senior and drum major Tara Culver.
"So, I think we did a pretty good job today for the lack of rehearsal time we've had."
Here are the scores for the high school bands who participated: Atchison, 3; Wichita North, 1; Ottawa, 3; Leavenworth, 1; Lansing, 3; Shawnee Mission East, 1; Shawnee Mission North, 1; Shawnee Mission South, 1; Maize, 2; Blue Valley North, 2; Lawrence, 1; Buhler, 2; Topeka West, 2; Shawnee Mission Northwest, 1; Olathe South, 1; Blue Valley Northwest, 2; Lee's Summit, 1, and Olathe North, 1.