About WBA

Mission Statement

Western Band Association exists to ensure a high quality, educationally sound performing experience in full support of the total band program.

Competition and Performance

WBA believes that competition is a means to encourage and reward creativity, artistry and excellence in design and performance while providing a vehicle that will educate all students in such a way that they will grow to understand and evolve to the greatest level of their potential. It is our intent to encourage and reward the training that augments the development of quality musical and visual skills.


  • 16,000 students perform annually in WBA events
  • 150 ensembles are members of WBA
  • WBA hosts over 20 shows and championships
  • Annually 65 bands compete in the championship contest which rotates between Northern, Central, and Southern California
  • Our smallest band has 32 members
  • Our largest band has 340 members


In January 1979 a group of band directors met to change the face of Marching Band in Northern and Central California. These leaders were Mike Rubino (Live Oak HS), Ramiro Barrera (Lincoln HS), Dan Smith (Independence HS), Gary Runsten (Modesto HS) & Mel Stratton (Clovis HS). The goal was to create an educationally based competitive performance opportunity. Standardized rules and score sheets were designed to assure the bands the competitive experience envisioned.

The first show sponsors in the Fall of 1979 were Modesto, Live Oak and Independence. Music Bowl was the big contest in this area at that time. That year and all subsequent years that Music Bowl existed in California they utilized our score sheets and rules. The first WSMBC Championship was held in conjunction with the 1984 Music Bowl Prelims at James Logan HS. The first WSMBC Champion was Independence HS. WSMBC added sponsors to its season and grew steadily.

In 1995, through the efforts of John Hannan (Mission Viejo) WSMBA expanded its services into Southern California opening the state to a consistent set of rules and scoring criteria that would unify the goals and competitive experience for bands throughout the entire state and beyond. Over the past several years, bands have come from Washington, Oregon Nevada, Arizona and Utah to share in this experience. The scoring system also grew and became a two-tiered criteria based curriculum designed for bands of various size memberships, assuring that the small band would have the same opportunity as the large band to achieve a high score measuring their unique orchestration and design options.

In 2002, under the leadership of Ramiro Barrera (James Logan) WSMBC changed its name to Western Band Association (WBA) and in 2006, the competition schedule has grown to offer consecutive contests in each of the three Regions, (Northern, Central and Southern California) helping to alleviate the costs of travel for the bands. Servicing the students of our bands remains the primary motivation behind all decisions.

In 2018, WBA partnered with BD Performing Arts from Concord, CA in a collaborative effort to support the continued growth and excellence of WBA as it looks to a bright future.

Your browser is out-of-date.

Please update your browser to view this website correctly. Show Me Where To Get The Update