It all leads up to this

Marching bands from 20 area schools including Fort Dodge will be taking the field at Dodger Stadium Saturday for the annual Iowa High School Music Association State Marching Band Competition.

Al Paulson, director of bands at Fort Dodge Senior High School, said the Dodger Marching Band is ready.

“The students have been working really hard,” he said.

He said he’s pleased with the level of performance his students have achieved this year.

“They’re doing really well,” he said.

Paulson said that besides the benefits of learning team work, discipline and improving their musical memorization skills, the band students will also benefit from the feedback.

“This panel of judges is the best in the state,” he said.

He said the first band will take the field at 9:30 a.m. Fort Dodge is scheduled to perform at 3 p.m.

He encourages the band members’ parents and other family members as well as fans to attend the competition. He said that seeing plenty of people in the stands helps boost the band’s morale.

“The more the merrier,” he said.

The contest is the last one of the year. It follows the North Central Iowa Marching Band Invitational that was held on Sept. 28 – also at Dodger Stadium. It helped the students and directors get ready for Saturday’s competition by providing feedback and suggestions.

He said that the bands are scored on a point system with 100 at the top of the scale. Each judge looks at a different area of the band’s performance.

Paulson said concessions sold on Saturday will help fund the purchase of new uniforms.

Admission to the event is $5 for adults and $3 for students.

The National Weather Service is currently predicting sunny conditions with a high of 66 degrees -nearly perfect marching weather.