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Welcome Directors!

Below you will find information about the 46th Annual JMU Parade of Champions.  Please feel free to download the available information, and if you need additional details or have any questions, please feel free to contact Scott Rikkers or Kirk Weaver


Contest Guidelines POC Web Button 2016 - Contest Schedule.png Event Map Stadium Map Equipment Truck Ticket Info 

This year's competition will be held on Saturday, October 5, 2024.

Application entry fee is $300.


Applications must be submitted electronically via our new Iris application and payment portal. We allow for the $300 entry fee to be paid by credit card (or check by using code:POCCheck24 at checkout).

Please note all updates to band information (Band size, electricity needs, etc.) must be submitted by the September 1st deadline, but initial registration only requires contact information to be filled out. Once you have created (or logged into your previous Iris account) you can use that login to make all informational changes.

Please use the application link below.

POC 2024 - Registration & Payment Portal Coming Soon

If you are a band director insterested in getting an email notification as soon as we go live with registration please fill out the form below.

2024 POC: Band Director Interest Form

NOTE:  Your application is not considered complete until we have received BOTH your online application AND your payment. The application deadline is September 1, 2024.  This is a popular event and spots fill up quickly, so the sooner we receive BOTH your online application and your payment, the more assurance you have of being a part of the competition.

Performance order will be determined based on recieving fully paid applications.

Example: If you complete the online application on August 1, but do not make/send out your payment until August 15, the timestamp on your complete application is August 15. 

If you pay by credit card your payment will be timestamped in the Iris payment system. For those paying by check (which need to made out to JMU Bands), the postmark of your payment letter will be used as the timestamp. Classes will be limited to 11 bands each, determined as applications are completed.  Once each class is full, all other applications will be placed on a waiting list and the director will be notified via email.   **This applies to ALL bands, including the 2023 class winners!  There will be no exceptions. 

*A $50.00 fee will be assessed for any check returned by the bank, as per JMU Financial Procedures Policy.


Already Have An IRIS Account?

The IRIS Registration & Payment system requires you to first create an account with an email address and password.

If you already have an IRIS account from last year, you can use your same account (email address and password) this year. If prompted for a code use POC2024.

If you have forgotten your password, you can reset it using the “Forgot Your Password?” link.

New To IRIS?

If this is your first time using the IRIS system, you will first need to create an account using an email address and password.

Once you have created your account, you will be able to complete the online Registration Information and make payments.

You will use this IRIS account any time you access your registration and payment portal.


There will be five classes of competition at this event. Class size is determined by the total number of wind and percussion members; Drum Majors, Color Guard, Banner Holders, etc., are excluded from this count.


Our contest features a panel of nationally and internationally recognized adjudicators from across the United States. Judges will be evaluating the following captions:

Music Performance – Ensemble

Music Performance – Individual (on-field)

Music General Effect

Visual Performance – Ensemble

Visual Performance – Individual (on-field)

Visual General Effect

Judge Comments: Each director will receive all digitally-recorded feedback from the judges at the conclusion of the contest.  A google link will be e-mailed to each director prior to the contest. Additionally score sheets and a class recap sheet will be included in each director’s post-contest packet provided at the awards ceremony. Due to the size of the contest and facility limitations, JMU is not able to offer a judge’s critique at the end of your band’s performance.

Recap Sheets: Due to physical and timing limitations, we are unable to give complete contest recap sheets at the conclusion of the event. A recap sheet for each class will be included in the post-contest packet. However, a complete contest recap will be compiled and e-mailed to all directors on the Monday following the contest, as well as made available on our website at


Questions related to registration and payment please contact our Administrative Assistant - Kirk Weaver at:

Contest Guidelines


There will be two awards ceremonies during the event – one mid-day for the Class A & AA participating bands, and one at the conclusion of the contest for the Class AAA, AAAA & AAAAA participating. Prior to each awards ceremony, the JMU Marching Royal Dukes will perform for the participating bands and audience.

Individuals to ACCEPT awards: Drum Majors and/or Auxiliary Captains are invited to receive the awards for their band. An announcement will be made prior to each ceremony (following the last band in the 2-A and 5-A classes) to notify all directors of where to send students. All representatives will meet the JMU contest staff at the E-Gates at the bottom of the North stairwell, adjacent to the tunnel (see stadium map).

Captions: The following caption awards will be presented to each class: Best Music Performance, Best Visual Performance, Best General Effect , Best Color Guard, and Best Percussion. 



Performance Time: The band’s performance time will begin upon entry to the competition field (from the back sideline), and ends when the band exits the field. Each class have the following performance time allotments:

Class A & AA – 13 minutes

Class 3A-5A - 15 minutes


Note: failure to begin at your band’s designated performance or conclude your performance by the designated allotment will result in a disqualification.

Cadences: Due to the full schedule, we ask that cadences be avoided for entrance to and exit from the field.  Only a click cadence on a snare, tenor, or bass drum should be used. Please adhere to this in order to respect the other bands entering and exiting.

On-Field Warm-Up: An on-field warm-up (or warm-up done back field before entering) must be limited to 60 seconds. The warm-up will not be adjudicated, but it will be included in your allotted performance time.

ABSOLUTELY NO FIRE BATONS, SMOKE-POTS, OR ANY PYROTECHNIC DEVICES ARE ALLOWED BECAUSE OF THE ARTIFICIAL FIELD TURF SURFACE IN THE STADIUM. No equipment or debris such as confetti, glitter, powder, etc. can be thrown in the performance area. FAILURE TO ADHERE TO THIS RULE WILL RESULT IN DISQUALIFICATION (see turf rules for additional information).

College Hash Marks:Please be aware that the JMU field is marked with permanent college hash marks – these are located 4 steps (90-inches) inside high school hashes. Due to our new field turf, we are still determining if we will be able to mark the field with high school hashes.  It is recommended that you practice using college hashes in preparation for POC.

Motorized Vehicles: ATVs/Golf Carts/Pit trains ARE permitted into the stadium and will have a designated path to get onto the front field (see enclosed map). They may use the outer edges of the field for traveling. However, VEHICLES ARE NOT PERMITTED ON THE PERFORMANCE TURF SURFACE (i.e. between the front and back sidelines). Failure to adhere to this rule will result in disqualification and any damage caused will be turned over to the Commonwealth of Virginia for collection.


Weather: There is no indoor inclement weather option for the JMU Parade of Champions. Due to the artificial surface at Bridgeforth Stadium, the event is held as scheduled rain or shine. The contest staff will have the responsibility to delay or discontinue the competition due to severe weather or as requested by the JMU Public Safety. In addition, each director will have the authority to discontinue their performance due to inclement weather.


Souvenir programs will be available to all participants, spectators, and guests. Each band will have an entry in the program, identifying each band’s name, location, staff, and repertoire. Programs will be sold at the ticket booths, so please encourage your parents/families/supporters to purchase one on their way into the event. Each director will also receive a complimentary program in their registration packets.


When you arrive at JMU, the Director or Assistant Director must check-in at the designated registration area. At that time, you will receive your Director’s Packet containing: JMU POC badges for the director(s), assistant director(s), and additional staff members (if requested); complimentary tickets (wrist bands); campus map; competition schedule; and other pertinent information.


At least two JMU guides will be assigned to each band. They will meet you at the registration area and take you through the various stages of the competition. These guides will have schedules, locations, and other important information to help you and your band during the day. In addition, if you have any questions or concerns that the band guides cannot help you with, there will be members of the JMU Band Staff at the registration area to assist you.


All bands will do a music warm-up on the artificial turf fields adjacent to the JMU Convocation Center/parking area.  There will be 2 bands using this space at the same time. This area is designed for MUSIC and body warm-up only.  You will not have an entire field so there won’t be enough space for drill/marching.  Each warm-up area will be monitored by an official time-keeper. We ask that you strictly adhere to the schedule, as there will be other bands waiting to use these facilities.

PLEASE NOTE: The bus parking area at the Convocation Center is not a Warm-Up area.  This should be used for unloading of equipment – basic stretching can be done in this area, but it must be within the confines of your buses.  We have to fit many groups into that lot, and will need as much space for parking as possible.


There are no changing rooms available at the bus parking/warm-up area. However, if changing rooms are needed, there are locker rooms available at Godwin Hall (adjacent to the stadium). Please be aware that these facilities are not located at the parking area, but you can make arrangements to bring your buses to this area upon arrival if necessary. Your guide will know how to direct you if you choose to change in Godwin Hall. Be certain to allow for extra travel time between registration and your performance if you are planning on using these facilities. It is recommended, however, that band members arrive in full uniform, or are able to appropriately change on the bus if/when needed. If you are considering using the Godwin Hall Changing Facility, please inform us in advance, so we can make the necessary arrangements for you.


Please note that there are no indoor bathrooms available at the Convocation Center.  There are several portable toilets around the parking lot that will be available to the band members and staff if needed while at the Convo. Bathrooms are available at Godwin Hall as well as around the stadium.


We regret that James Madison University cannot provide equipment to substitute for lost or forgotten items. If you find that you are in need of equipment upon arrival, we will help you work with other competing bands to arrange to borrow what is needed.


2024 Pricing 

General Admission: $20

Discounted Admission: $15 *

* Discount Admission available to the following: Active/Retired Military (Military ID required), Students - K12 & college (ID only required for college students), & Seniors 65+ (ID required).

Free Admission for children 3 yrs old and under

When admission is purchased, each individual will receive a wristband that will allow admission to the event all day. Wristbands are sold at the contest entrance from the Bridgeforth Ticked Booth “A”.

Payment Options: JMU will accept cash, checks (made payable to “JMU Bands”), and credit cards.


Tickets: JMU POC does not issue paper tickets, but rather a comfortable, color-coded wristband that is to be worn at all times.

Band Members: All uniformed band members will receive free admission to the event via a special wristband (received at registration). Directors will receive these wristbands in their registration packet. It is recommended that these wristbands be distributed immediately so they aren’t misplaced.

Complimentary Tickets: Each participating band will receive one ticket (wristband) for every ten performing members in the band, based on the numbers indicated on your application. These tickets (wristbands) can be used for chaperones, bus drivers, staff, etc. and will be provided to each director in the registration packet upon arrival to JMU. All non-uniformed individuals MUST have a wristband or the JMU POC staff badge to enter the stadium or field.

Directors, Assistant Directors, and Guard & Percussion Staff: All directors and percussion/guard staff members listed on the POC application will receive POC Event Access passes to be worn at all times during the event. These will allow you access to the stadium, as well as to the Director Hospitality Area located in the “Club Area” of the stadium. Staff badges will only be provided for directors, assistant directors, guard instructors, percussion instructors, and student teachers indicated on your POC application. Additional staff members must purchase a ticket or use one of the complimentary wrist bands to enter the contest venue.

Bus and Equipment Truck Drivers: All bus drivers and equipment truck driverswill also receive a complimentary ticket to enter the contest with your group.  This will be determined by the number of buses you listed on your contest application. If your driver(s) choose not to view the contest, these wristbands can be used for other individuals traveling with your group (parents, chaperones, crew members, etc.).

Parent Volunteers/Pit Crew Members/Chaperones: will not be issued tickets or passes, but will be permitted to enter the performance field in the stadium, as long as they are wearing a uniform/outfit that identifies them as a member of your band’s support staff. All parents/staff/students must exit the stadium immediately following the band’s performance. All parent volunteers/pit crewmembers/chaperones must have purchased a valid ticket (wristband) to re-enter the stadium.


Field crewmembers/parents/volunteers will be allowed into the stadium (field level) to set-up and watch their band from a designated area on the field. Once the band is finished with their performance, the field crew must exit the stadium with their equipment and must have a ticket (wristband) or a JMU POC badge to reenter the stadium. It is recommended that all crew members/parent volunteers wear a uniform/outfit that will identify them as a member of your band’s support staff.


We recommend individuals do not bring bags with them to the stadium.  However, if you need to bring a bag, it must be searched by the RMC event staff before entering Bridgeforth Stadium.  If you are entering with a large group, please note this could cause a significant delay in your entry to the stadium.  Please plan accordingly.


Due to the design of our stadium, there is no direct access to the stands from the field. It is recommended that directors/staff remain on the field during your band’s performance. If directors/staff wish to view your band’s performance from the stands, you will need to plan accordingly, allowing extra time to enter the seating area (via the tunnel and North stairwell – see stadium diagram) prior to your band’s performance. Band guides can help accommodate this if so desired.


There is only one main entrance to the stadium – Gate A, located on the west side of the stadium (parking deck/ticket booths). When re-entering the stadium following your band’s performance, all band members must travel together and enter through Gate A. All band members must display their wristband (and directors/staff their name badges) to be admitted to the seating area. All parent volunteers/pit crewmembers/chaperones must have purchased a valid ticket (wristband) to re-enter the stadium. This can be taken care of at the Ticket Booth conveniently located next to Gate A of the stadium.


In order to accommodate the number of participating bands, reserved seats are being held on the sides of the upper and lower concourse sections: 201, 202, 211, 212, 213, 214 (lower concourse), and 401, 402, 411, 412, 413, 414, 415 (upper concourse). It is recommended that directors use these sections for band seating following your performance. Please see enclosed stadium diagram.


A map indicating the exact locations of parking will be provided. 
Spectator parking will be primarily in the Champions Parking Deck adjacent to the stadium. Handicap parking is available on the first level of the Champions Parking Deck, there are also 2 handicapped spots on every floor located next to the elevators. Overflow parking will be available in the P-Lot, and R1 Lot.

Bus Parking will be located at the JMU Convocation Center. This area is RESERVED FOR BUSES AND TRUCKS. Parents, Chaperones, and Field Crew members not traveling on buses will need to park in the stadium parking deck. Class A, AA, and AAA bands will arrive at the Convocation Center and park there during their performance.  However, in order to accommodate the large number of buses/trucks that will be with us on campus, Class A, AA, and AAA bands will also have to move to a different parking lot (C4) following their band’s performance. Class AAAA and AAAAA will register and park in the Convo Parking Lot and remain there for the duration of the competition.

IMPORTANT:  After your band’s performance, Class A, AA, and AAA bands must move your buses and equipment vehicles to the R1 Parking Lot for the duration of the competition.  We will need to make room for other groups' buses entering throughout the event.

Equipment Trucks/Trailers will be directed to the stadium for staging, but will return to where your buses are parked following your band’s performance.

IMPORTANT:  Equipment trucks/trailers must be moved IMMEDIATELY following your band’s performance (once all equipment has been re-loaded).  These vehicles will then park in the R1 Lot with your school’s buses.


The front ensemble, equipment, and prop staging area will be located in the parking lots around Godwin Hall adjacent to the stadium. Please be aware that this staging area is NOT the same location as your band’s warm-up area. Equipment trucks/trailers and other large equipment will be directed to this area once your group enters campus.

It is recommended that any instruments or equipment that must remain with the musicians first be delivered to the warm-up area (Convocation Center/Bus Parking), then the equipment trucks may be moved to the designated equipment staging location. Please plan accordingly. 

Large equipment such as podiums, auxiliary percussion, props, etc., may be delivered to this staging area up to 90 minutes prior to your band’s performance. All equipment will be taken through the competing band entrance gate (“C” gates). The gate official will direct your crew where to place the equipment and when to meet your band for entrance.


Once the performance is finished, ALL equipment must be removed from the stadium immediately and all students and staff must exit the performance area. Once all equipment is packed, equipment vehicles must leave this staging area and park in the C4 Lot (Class A, AA, and AAA) or the Convo Lot (Class AAAA and AAAAA).


It is recommended that ALL school vehicles enter the registration area (JMU Convocation Center) together and unload any necessary equipment/instruments that will be needed at your band’s warm-up site (instruments, flags, etc.). 

Equipment trucks will be directed to a staging area closer to the stadium (Godwin parking lots), to deliver front ensemble percussion equipment, props, or any other items/equipment that is not needed at the band warm-up and/or requires excessive preparation or transportation.

These vehicles will ONLY be permitted to use this area for the duration of your band’s performance. They must be moved immediately following your band’s performance, and then relocated to the C4 Parking Lot or the Convocation Center Lot.

Entrance to the Godwin lot will be at the signal light at the intersection of Bluestone Drive and Carrier Drive.


As each band exits the stadium, Jolesch Photography will be set up in front of the Plecker Athletic Performance Center to take group photos of your band. This is not a requirement of the contest, although it does assist us in maintaining a photographic record of the event. This opportunity is offered so that you and your band can have a memento of your day at the JMU Parade of Champions. All arrangements or agreements are between the band or individuals and Jolesch Photography. Additional information explaining photo options and costs will be mailed to you with your schedule, and can be found at www.bandgroupphotography.comafter the contest.


Audio/Video recording is prohibited in Bridgeforth Stadium.  University safety regulations prohibit any non-JMU personnel from being in the press box. To ensure that you have a video of your performance, JMU POC will provide you with a one-camera/wide-angle DVD of your performance, free of charge. You will receive the DVD at your division’s awards ceremony.

In addition, a professional video company will be on site to record the entire competition. This opportunity is offered as a service so that you and your band can have a memento of your day at the JMU Parade of Champions. All arrangements and agreements are between the band or individuals and the videographers.

CLICK HERE to visit the Jolesc Photography website.

CLICK HERE to visit the Mr. Video website.


We invite all directors, assistant directors, percussion and guard instructors with Event Access badges to join us in the Bridgeforth Stadium Club Level following your band’s performance.  We will have an opportunity to meet and greet, enjoy some refreshments (snacks and drinks), and watch the show from the Club Terrace (the best view in the stadium).


Harrisonburg is located at the intersection of I-81, US-33, and US-11. Interstates 81 and 64 intersect about 25 miles south of Harrisonburg. James Madison University is located I-81 exits 247 (US-33) and 245 (Port Republic Road).

Approximate driving times:

Washington D.C. – 2.5 hours

Charlottesville – 1 hour Richmond – 2 hours

Roanoke – 1.5 hours

Virginia Beach – 3.5 hours


  • From I-81, take EXIT 247 to Route 33 East  (toward Elkton). 

  • Travel approximately 1 mile, turn RIGHT at the second traffic light onto  University Blvd. 

  • Follow University Blvd. past Reservoir Street  (Sheetz on right corner, Costco on left) and past the first JMU 
campus entrance (on right) to the Convocation Center  (on right). 

  • When you reach the Convocation Center, you will be greeted by POC Contest Staff to help with registration and 
direct your buses to park. 

NOTE: You can also access campus via Exit 245 (Port Republic Rd.). However, this involves several turns and narrow roads, and therefore not recommended when traveling with multiple buses/large trucks.


  • From I-81, take EXIT 245  (Port Republic Road) and head WEST on  Port Republic Road. 

  • The main campus entrance will be on the right just past the I-81 overpass. 

  • Turn RIGHT onto  Bluestone Drive. 

  • Follow  Bluestone Drive to the first stop sign. You will see the stadium on your left. 

  • Turn LEFT at the stop sign onto  Champions Drive. This will take you to the stadium parking deck and stadium 



Physical Address of the JMU Convocation Center: 895 University Blvd., Harrisonburg, VA 22807

Physical Address of Bridgeforth Stadium: 251 Bluestone Drive, Harrisonburg, VA 22807



As always, our music student organizations will be providing POC merchandise for purchase during the event. We will have several merchandise tables set up around the stadium for you, your students, and their families to browse. In addition, JMU Concessions and Domino’s Pizza will be open during the event to sell food and beverages to participants and spectators. You may also choose to bring your group off campus to one of the many restaurants or shopping centers within a few miles of campus.


Should an accident or illness occur while you are at JMU, please notify a contest worker or JMU Public Safety officer. Public Safety and EMT service is present at the event all day.  Any injury or illness requiring the services of a medical professional will be handled at Rockingham Memorial Hospital.

JMU Public Safety: 540.568.6913 (non-emergency/information) 540.568.6911 (emergency)

Rockingham Memorial Hospital: 540.433.4100 or 1.800.543.2201 (General Information)

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