Murray State University – Festival of Champions

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The Murray State University Festival of Champions was established in 1976 by the Marching Thoroughbreds Band Director David A. Wells.  The original Festival of Champions contest required Kentucky bands to receive a Superior or Excellent rating at the current or previous year’s KMEA regional festival to be eligible to participate in the contest.  Bands from other states must have participated at a competition comparable to the KMEA Festival to be accepted.  The Festival of Champions presented the highest scoring Kentucky band with the “Kentucky Governors Cup,” and the contest was billed as the “Kentucky State Championship.” In 1986, Mr. Wells was present at the first KMEA State Marching Band Championship.  He presented the Governors Cup(s) to the winning bands and the KMEA SMBC became the official home of the Kentucky Marching Band Championship.  The first FOC was hosted by the Marching Thoroughbred Band.  The band name was changed to Racer Band before the 1978 season.  The adjudicators during those first years consisted of many well know and acclaimed educators of the time.  A partial list of judges included John Armstrong, Chuck Campbell, A.R. Casavant, Dr. Charles Casavant, Larry Case, Jay Dawson, Jim Fern, Doyle Heffron, Jim Ott, Tom Roe, Fred Sanford and Dwight Somerville.

Mr. John Fannin, Director of the Racer Band, the Murray State Faculty and the Racer Band Staff and band members continue the tradition of showcasing high school bands at a marching band contest of the highest standard with an accomplished and nationally recognized panel of adjudicators.  For more information, visit the Racer Band website at www.racerband.com.

 Grand ChampionReserve Grand Champion
1976Murray High School
Murray, KY
Hopkinsville High School
Hopkinsville, KY
1977Murray High School
Murray, KY
Christian County High School
Hopkinsville, KY
1978Lafayette High School
Lexington, KY
Murray High School
Murray, KY
1979Christian County High School
Hopkinsville, KY
Murray High School
Murray, KY
1980George Rogers Clark High School
Winchester, KY
Christian County High School
Hopkinsville, KY
1981Columbia High School
Columbia, TN
George Rogers Clark
Winchester, KY
1982Center Grove
Greenwood, IN
Christian County High School
Hopkinsville, KY
1983North Hardin High School
Radcliff, KY
Lone Oak High School
Paducah, KY
1984Center Grove
Greenwood, IN
North Hardin High School
Radcliff, KY
1985Center Grove
Greenwood, IN
Cicero-North
Syracuse Cicero, NY
1986Glasgow High School
Glasgow, KY
Madisonville-North Hopkins
Madisonville, KY
1987Oldham County High School
LaGrange, KY
Madisonville-North Hopkins
Madisonville, KY
1988Henderson County High School
Henderson, KY
Muhlenberg Central
Powderly, KY
1989Lafayette High School
Lexington, KY
Muhlenberg Central
Powderly, KY
1990Lafayette High School
Lexington, KY
Greenwood High School
Greenwood, IN
1991Lafayette High School
Lexington, KY
Muhlenberg North High School
Greenville, KY
1992Lafayette High School
Lexington, KY
Muhlenberg North High School
Greenville, KY
1993Lafayette High School
Lexington, KY
Elizabethtown High School
Elizabethtown, KY
1994Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School
Lexington, KY
Daviess County
Owensboro, KY
1995Calloway County High School
Murray, KY
Christian County High School
Hopkinsville, KY
1996Daviess County High School
Owensboro, KY
Union City High School
Union City, TN
1997Elizabethtown High School
Elizabethtown, KY
Central Hardin High School
Cecilia, KY
1998Daviess County High School
Owensboro, KY
Boone County High School
Florence, KY
1999Boone County High School
Florence, KY
Elizabethtown High School
Elizabethtown, KY
2000Daviess County High School
Owensboro, KY
Muhlenberg North High School
Greenville, KY
2001Madisonville-North Hopkins
Madisonville, KY
Christian County High School
Hopkinsville, KY
2002Madisonville-North Hopkins
Madisonville, KY
Murray High School
Murray, KY
2003Madisonville-North Hopkins
Madisonville, KY
Daviess County High School
Owensboro, KY
2004Madisonville-North Hopkins
Madisonville, KY
Muhlenberg North High School
Greenville, KY
2005Madisonville-North Hopkins
Madisonville, KY
Murray High School
Murray, KY
2006Daviess County High School
Owensboro, KY
Madisonville-North Hopkins
Madisonville, KY
2007Daviess County High School
Owensboro, KY
Marshall County High School
Benton, KY
2008Calloway County High School
Murray, KY
Madisonville-North Hopkins
Madisonville, KY
2009Marshall County High School
Benton, KY
Calloway County High School
Murray, KY
2010Madisonville-North Hopkins
Madisonville, KY
Muhlenberg County High School
Greenville, KY
2011Eastern High School
Middletown, KY
Murray High School
Murray, KY
2012Murray High School
Murray, KY
Madisonville-North Hopkins
Madisonville, KY
2013Madisonville-North Hopkins
Madisonville, KY
Daviess County High School
Owensboro, KY
2014Madisonville-North Hopkins
Madisonville, KY
Daviess County High School
Owensboro, KY
2015Murray High School
Murray, KY
Calloway County High School
Murray, KY