BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – The World Association of Marching Show Bands (WAMSB) will be hosting its 2023 International Championship from July 17 through July 24 in Buckhannon.

On Feb. 4 at 10 a.m., the Host Committee met at West Virginia Wesleyan College’s Virginia Thomas Law Center for the Performing Arts. The purpose of this meeting was to escort two Canadian band representatives, Mike Jewitt and Heidi Haubrich, and the WAMSB USA International coordinator, Brian Ingelson, on a site visit and facility tour. This tour provided guests an opportunity to visit the competition areas, housing and cafeteria facilities, while also providing discussion and coordination surrounding the 2023 competition.

Heidi Haubrich, visual instructor for Calgary Stampede Showband, told 12 News why she feels it is important to make a visit to the competition site before hand.

“Every field and every facility is so different, so for us to have the opportunity to come here to see the layout, to understand, you know, how we enter a field, how we exit a field, where’s the power, what does the field look like, is it turf, is it grass,” Haubrich said. “Um, all that really sets us up for success so that we can have our twelve-year-olds, who are very young, fully understand what they’re walking into and just be set up for success.”

Out of the 26 years that WAMSB has been conducting these competitions, this will only be the second year that it has been hosted in the United States. It was also held in Palm Springs, California in 2017, and will be held in our very own Buckhannon, West Virginia this year.

As of Saturday, there were a total of 27 bands across the country who had already entered into the competition. A list of the bands and what countries they are traveling from is available in the picture below. If you are interested in taking part of this huge competition, you can find an application by clicking here. At this website, you can also find next year’s application for the competition in Rastede, Germany.

List of bands and countries already entered in the 2023 competition (WBOY Image)

“For students to come to a smaller community, where everybody embraces the event, and where you feel that warmth and you really get to know the people at large, rather than, where you’re kind of, anonymous in a big community,” said Brian Ingelson, WAMSB USA International coordinator. “I think it – I think it impacts the students personally and emotionally, and I also think that they will want to bring their families back later on to visit Buckhannon.”

The host committee is looking for volunteers that are interested in helping during the competition in July. Randy Sanders, WAMSB 2023 Buckhannon Host Committee president, is asking for anyone interested to message them through this link as soon as possible. The committee will provide training in the following categories:

  • Hospitality
  • Traffic Control
  • First Responders are having bi-weekly meetings
  • And more