On the occasion of Tuesday’s 35th Annual Tournament of Champions, local high school marching band musicians reflected on what has, for some, been a gap in competition.

COVID-19 reduced band activities and performances in general last year, and students spoke to how they sorely missed this special time in the sun. A football game is all fine and well, as people know the marching band by their halftime performance. For themselves, members of the Benton Cardinal Band, the Irish Pride and the Blue & White Regiment see this event hosted by Missouri Western State University — in which they went up against 17 other peer institutions across the region — as the true test of strength and showmanship.

Marcus Clem can be reached at marcus.clem@newspressnow.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NPNowClem

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