Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - The New York State Field Band Conference marched into the dome on Sunday, celebrating a milestone 40th anniversary.
Families packed the stands, with an expected 10,000 people in attendance.
More than 5,000 students from 52 high school marching bands joined the competition.
There are six classifications for large and small bands, with the largest totaling 210 members.
The event is an all-day affair as students compete over the course of 14 hours.
College bands offered a break, with guest performances, along with the 198th Army Band.
The season lasts for eight weeks, but many students look forward to the competition all year. They are required to perform a musical and visual show for a panel of ten judges. The highest ranking band is awarded the Governor's Cup.
Memories of the band competition stretch back for decades. In the early stages there were many shows, but no champions. The popularity of the event prompted organizers to develop a competition.
The New York State Field Band Conference Championships launched at MacArthur Stadium in Syracuse on November 2, 1974 with 11 bands.
NYSFBC is touted as one of the oldest marching band circuits in the country.
Last year's champions were West Genesee, Medina, Baldwinsville, Jordan-Elbridge, Kingston, Westmoreland and Marcus Whitman schools.
Show results can be found on www.NYSFBC.org.