TOTM M-S marching band

Members of the Mahomet-Seymour Marching Bulldogs perform at the 2018 Illinois Marching Band Championships at Memorial Stadium in Champaign.

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With Illinois football on the road at Purdue on Saturday, Memorial Stadium will be packed with musicians participating in the annual Illinois Marching Band Championships.

Schools will compete in six classes. Area entries include: Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond, Blue Ridge, Hoopeston Area, Sullivan and Watseka in 1A; Prairie Central and St. Joseph-Ogden in 2A; Mahoment-Seymour and Monticello in 3A; and Champaign Central and Danville in 4A. There are 42 bands competing overall, starting at 8:30 a.m. until awards and a performance by the Marching Illini wrap things up.

Spectators are welcome. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens.

Central has been participating on and off for the last 22 years.

“I think having this competition in our backyard is awesome,”said Jennifer Currey, co-director of the Central band with her husband John. “Memorial Stadium offers a unique view of bands’ performances, since the stadium is so tall. Seeing your band announced on the jumbo screen is always really exciting.”

On to my weekend recommendations:


“Jimmy Kimmel Live,” 10:30 p.m., ABC

It’s the last of a week of shows in Brooklyn. Guests include actor John Krasinski and former David Letterman band leader Paul Shaffer.


Notre Dame at Michigan, 6:30 p.m., ABC

Rumors of Jim Harbaugh’s departure got so strong that the coach reportedly sent an email to recruits to deny it. He can quiet the talk by beating the Irish.


“Mrs. Fletcher,” 9:30 p.m., HBO

Kathryn Hahn stars in the seven-part comedy mini-series as a single mother dealing with an empty home for the first time. Jackson White plays her son, who is entering his freshman year of college.

College Football Reporter/Columnist

Bob Asmussen is a college football reporter and columnist for The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@BobAsmussen).