Middletown High School hosted the Showcase of Champions marching band tournament Sept. 22.

Horns sounded from South Broad Street and colorful flags were twirled in the wind Saturday at Cavalier Stadium.

Middletown High School hosted the prestigious Showcase of Champions Sept. 22 where 13 other high school marching bands from in and around Delaware competed in front of the National Judges Association.

Saturday's festivities kicked off with band students from the Appoquinimink School District's middle schools performing the National Anthem before McKean High School's marching band took the field, performing a series of songs by San Francisco based 1970's rock band Journey.

Every weekend during the fall, a different high school hosts a competition, which ultimately ends with a tournament in Hershey, Pa.

Bands are divided into groups based on size and are scored by the judges based not only on sound, but performance as well.

The bands that finish in the top 25 of their category will travel to Hershey. Student musicians come from all over the northeastern United States to compete.

Appoquinimink High School's marching band finished first in its group Saturday night.

Since Middletown hosted last weekend's showcase, they only performed for the audience and were not scored, as per the rules of the competition.

Appoquinimink High School will host two competitions in October; the Tournament of Bands on Oct. 7 and the Chapter 9 Band Championships Oct. 20.

This coming weekend, the schools will compete at Frawley Stadium at a showcase hosted by William Penn High School, said Kevin Gillie, Booster Club President for the Middletown High School marching band.

"The band boosters elect to host the show and we are part of the National Judges Association Tournament of Bands," he said. "These bands compete every weekend."

This was Middletown High School's first time hosting one of these competitions in about 20 years, Gillie said.

"We finished up before the rain came," he said.

Gillie said that even though Middletown High School didn't get a placement Saturday, he felt that they did very well musically and from a performance point of view.

Thirteen bands signed up for last Saturday's competition. Six had less than 30 musicians, three had between 30 and 50, two schools had between 50 and 75, and two had more than 75 performers.

Middletown High School is in the third largest category and Appoquinimink is in the second largest group category.

The Chapter 9 Band Championship, which is the final showcase before Hershey, will feature schools from Delaware and a few from Maryland, Gillie said.

"We compete all fall and you're placement is based on scores at the regional championship Oct. 20 at Appoquinimink High School," he said.

From there, the top 25 marching bands spanning from Virginia to the northeast will head to Hershey.

Gillie said that the M.O.T. community provided a lot of support for Saturday's showcase.

"We got a lot of donations and lots of help and it's important to thank them for supporting the schools and the arts at both high schools," he said.