Marching bands from around the world converged on Palm Springs High School for the World Association of Marching Show Bands Championship. This is the first time the event has been held in the United States.
“We have four bands from Germany, a band from Poland, a band from the Czech Republic, a band from China and a band from Brazil,” said co-director Brian Ingelson.
Ingelson and said he’s wanted to bring the competition to Palm Springs for a while.
“They were looking for a place to hold the world championship so we applied. And talking about all the wonderful things the Coachella Valley has to offer groups that come and they saw this as a great place to hold this,” said Ingelson.
Kevin Forero is in the Palm Springs marching band and said the best part is meeting fellow musicians from other countries.
“This is what music can do. It brings us all together and we’re able to go around the world and we may speak different languages, but we’re able to communicate, which is amazing to me,” Forero said.
Brian Ingelson said the championship is filling hotel rooms and helping the local economy.
“The groups are all staying in hotels, a number in Palm Springs, but really throughout the valley. And they’re eating at the local restaurants and they’re shopping. Shopping is a big thing,” said Ingelson.
It’s also teaching students from a variety of backgrounds to come together in the name of music.
“Being able to show the world and having that pride in your country and your group and being able to say ‘This is what I share with you’ and we do that through music,” said co-director Beverley Ingelson.
Ingelson hopes families visiting Palm Springs for the first time will want to return.
“When they see Palm Springs and talk to the students when they get back, this is going to help the entire valley in terms of tourism and helping to promote the economy here,” said Ingelson.