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Marching bands to compete Saturday at Stagg’s 43rd annual Jamboree

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regional stagg jamboree

Amos Alonzo Stagg High School in Palos Hills will welcome more than 20 marching bands from around the area at its annual Jamboree on Sept. 9. The Marching Chargers are shown at the 2022 Jamboree. (Courtesy of Stagg Music Boosters Association)

From staff reports

More than 20 high school marching bands will perform Saturday, September 9, at Amos Alonzo Stagg High School’s 43rd annual Jamboree, which takes place in the football stadium at 8015 W. 111th St.

Jamboree is a competition that brings marching bands from all over the area together to perform their competitive shows for a distinguished panel of adjudicators, receiving their feedback and rankings by class. Stagg’s Marching Chargers will present an exhibition of the band’s current show at 9:30 p.m. before the final awards are given out.

The event begins at 2:45 p.m. with the national anthem, and the first band performs at 3 p.m. Bands continue to compete until 9:30 p.m. Awards will be given out in three ceremonies after each class competes: A in the late afternoon, AA in the early evening and AAA after Stagg’s exhibition. The classes are determined by the size of the school, not the size of the band.

Admission is $15 for adults; $10 for students with valid school ID and senior citizens 50 and older; and $5 for children 6 to 17 years old. Admission is free to children 6 and younger and Stagg students with school ID. Cash and credit will be accepted at the gate, or spectators can buy tickets online at https://tinyurl.com/Jamboree-2023. The public is welcome.

Three split-the-pot raffles will be available, and winners need not be present. Food will be sold in the main concession stand and at a chuck wagon on the visitors’ side of the stadium. The event is coordinated by the Stagg Music Booster Association, which supports all music programs at Stagg, and is its biggest fundraiser.

Marching band, which includes a color guard, provides a unique opportunity for students to form relationships while showcasing their musical and physical talents.

“Color guard is my life,” said Evelyn Dalton, a junior who has performed with the Marching Chargers and competed with Stagg’s winter guard for two years. “This is my third year of being in Stagg’s guard and it has changed my life for the better. It has given me courage, dedication and a team that is like family.”

She added, “It has taught me life skills and given me a love for the marching arts. I cannot wait to s how my love and dedication for the activity when Stagg performs for their jamboree on September 9.”

Chris Betz, Stagg’s choir teacher, said the event fosters sportsmanship. “While these competitions are about excellence and showcasing talent, they’re also about camaraderie and mutual respect among different schools.”

He urged spectators to “think of it as a live concert, a sports event and a theater show all in one. There’s never a dull moment! It’s also a way to highlight Stagg’s talent and our terrific marching band!”

Betz added that the event also “increases our community engagement, with thousands of guests joining us to celebrate these student’s hard work. It also calls for more adult and student volunteers than any other event we host throughout the year. It’s a great way to build our music community.”

He believes that music programs provide more than just a place for high school students to share their talents.

“Music at the high school level not only nurtures students’ emotional and creative growth but also fosters essential life skills such as discipline, teamwork, and resilience,” Betz said. “By integrating music into education, we empower our youth with a universal language that promotes understanding, self-expression, and a deeper connection to the world around them.”

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