Cake Contest: “The Federal Funding March”

Do you want your marching band to play a song by a multi-platinum rock band? Well, it’s as easy as pie … or Cake, that is. The U.S. Scholastic Band Association (USSBA) and popular music group Cake have partnered for a new contest, “The Federal Funding March,” for high school and college bands across the country.

“With all the brass, the album track for ‘Federal Funding’ already sounded like it was a great arrangement for a marching band,” said Vincent DiFiore, Cake’s trumpet player, in a press release. “It is our hope that band directors everywhere will find this arrangement appealing for its rhythmic groove, melodic sensibility and thematic timeliness.”

Cake has released the sheet music and marching band arrangements for the song “Federal Funding” off its last album, “Showroom of Compassion.” Marching bands are invited to tweak the arrangements, add drill and visual effects, and record a video of their performances. The best entries will be voted on by the public, and the winning band will appear in a music video with Cake.

“Band directors, arrangers and students can log in to download the music on their own for free; they can take those arrangements and work on them however they want,” says Sean King, director of marketing for Youth Education in the Arts, parent group of USSBA. “They can create drill for a halftime show, pep bands, competitive, non-competitive; it doesn’t really matter. The band is being really cool in allowing arrangements to be changed; they’re encouraging creativity at any step of the way.”

DiFiore wrote an op-ed piece for CNN.com about the contest and the importance of marching bands in schools. “Our drummer, Paulo Baldi, lived in three states as a teenager while attending four different high schools,” DiFiore wrote. “Joining the marching band in each unfamiliar place helped to connect his high school experience. He made friends through each transition, and it made comfortable what could have otherwise been an alienating experience.”

USSBA will begin accepting video submissions in September. Cake and USSBA will choose nine finalists—the 10th will be an at-large fan favorite vote—to be announced at USSBA National Championships on Nov. 11. Then fans will choose the winner, to be announced in January. Download the music and get more details at www.yea.org/cake.

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