80 Kentucky high school bands vie for 5 state championships

Saturday marks the culmination of a season's worth of fine tuning, literally, for the thousands of students in Kentucky's high school marching bands: the state marching band championships.

As usual, several Lexington and Central Kentucky schools are in the mix of 80 bands going into the semifinals of the Kentucky Music Educators Association State Marching Band Championship.

In the always-watched Class AAAAA competition, cross-town rivals Lafayette and Paul Laurence Dunbar enter Saturday having finished in first and second place, respectively, in last weekend's east division quarterfinal. Lafayette, whose show is called "Desert Rose," scored 92.55. Defending state champ Dunbar, whose show is titled "Reflections," scored 91.15.

To make it to Saturday morning's semifinal round, each band had to finish in the top 16 of its class at quarterfinal competitions, held Oct. 20 across the state.

Semifinals begin Saturday morning. The top four bands in each of the five classes compete in the final round, beginning at 6 p.m. CDT Saturday at Western Kentucky University's Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.