Musical spirit
Members of the Band of the Tonawandas perform during the national band competition at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis on Saturday, Aug. 24. (Photo by Ben Mikesell/The American Legion)

Musical spirit

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The bands that compete in The American Legion's annual concert band contest at the national convention probably have several different aims in mind when choosing their lineup of pieces. They want to entertain, to inspire ... but also to win first place. This makes for eclectic sets that keep the audience enthralled.

The 2019 competition, held Saturday at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, was no different. The first band up - the American Legion Band of the Tonawandas, sponsored by Post 264 of Tonawanda, N.Y. - won this year's title, but all the competitors attracted audience appreciation. In order of performance, their names, final scores and lineups:

Tonawandas (95.8):

"Esprit de Corps" by Robert Jager

"The Gallant 7th" by John Philip Sousa

"Ballet Sacra" by David Holsinger

American Legion Band of Greater Kansas City (Mo.) (88.3):

"Mars, the Bringer of War" by Gustav Holst

"The Invincible Eagle" by John Philip Sousa

"Fanfare and Allegro: by Clifton Williams

American Legion Post 377 Band (Kenner, La. - this was the band's first appearance in convention competition in more than 45 years) (82.3):

"Bandology" by Eric Osterling

" A Portrait of Mesquite" by Post 377 band director Ron Totora

"Carnival Day in New Orleans" by John J. Morrissey

Oconomowoc American Legion Band (sponsored by Edwin L. Jones Post 91 in Oconomowoc, Wis.) (88.5):

"The Winged Stallion" by Rossano Galante

"Eagle Squadron" by Kenneth J. Alford

"Symphonic Episodes" by Brian Balmages

Joliet American Legion Band (sponsored by St. Joseph Park Post 1080 in Joliet, Ill.) (93.5):

"The Pathfinder of Panama" by John Philip Sousa

"Far From Home" by Julie Giroux

"Symphonic Suite" by Clifton Williams

As with other past Legion live streams, the competition can be viewed in its entirety via LegionTV.