Flag-twirlers lead the way for the Cleveland Regiment marching bands, seen here at a recent halftime at a Storm football game. (Photo courtesy of Joe Grimando)


Those of you who enjoy marching band performances should plan to be at Rio Rancho Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 22, taking in the sights and sounds of the 42nd New Mexico Pageant of Bands.

The Pageant of Bands, regularly held in Albuquerque, is a marching band competition for New Mexico high school bands. Bands are classified by band size, not by high school enrollment. Band size includes all students participating in the performance, including brass, woodwinds, drum line, pit and auxiliary, along with students holding and moving props.

As of press time, 27 high school bands had signed up to compete, among them the Cleveland High Regiment and the RRHS marching band.

This year, CHS and RRHS are competing in the 5A classification; the Regiment is scheduled to perform from 4-4:15; the RRHS band is set to perform at 4:30.

The gates open at 7:45 a.m., with the Presentation of Colors and Star-Spangled Banner at 8, followed by the first band performance at 8:15. (See band times and get more information, including ticket prices, at nmpob.org.)

City of Vision bands have had considerable success on the field.

The RRHS band, directed by Matt Casarez, was the 4A (76-100 members) winner last year, while Cleveland, directed by Daniel Holmes, took 5A (101+ members) honors last year.

The event wasn’t held, due to the pandemic, in 2020.

Here are the city’s schools’ previous championships:

RRHS (4A): 2012, 2015; (5A) 2001, 2007, 2008.

CHS (4A): 2010, 2013, 2014; (5A) 2018.

More band competitions

The annual UNM Zia Marching festival is being held this Saturday in Albuquerque.

The NMSU Tournament of Bands takes place Oct. 29 in Las Cruces.