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Blinn College band a finalist in Metallica's 'For Whom the Band Tolls' contest

Voting is underway now in the 'fan favorite' category

Voting is underway now in the 'fan favorite' category

December 13, 2023

The Blinn College band has rocked its way into the finals of a competition featuring music by the heavy metal band Metallica.

The Blinn band is among five finalists in College Division 2 and 3 in the “For Whom the Band Tolls” contest, which will award more than $180,000 in prizes. Blinn’s performance was selected as a finalist by a panel of music industry professionals.

“This past spring, Metallica, in conjunction with major music industry partners, decided to sponsor a marching band competition that encouraged bands across the country to perform shows based on their substantial musical catalog,” said Dr. Sarah Burke, Director of Bands for Blinn. “Metallica generously provided music and the rights to allow groups to creatively produce shows featuring their music.”

Blinn’s performance included Metallica’s “Lux Aeterna,” “Master of Puppets,” “Wherever I May Roam,” and “Breadfan.” The performance can be viewed at

As a finalist, Blinn is in the running for the $40,000 top prize in its division. Metallica will select the final prize winners in each category.

There also is a “fan favorite” category, with the winner receiving a $10,000 prize. To vote for Blinn, text #UBLINNCOLLEGE to 833-609-0330. Only one vote per category will be allowed. Voting is under way, with the fan favorite winners announced the week of Jan. 1.

“We are thrilled to have been selected as a top five finalist in our collegiate division,” said Burke. “Perhaps what I am most proud of is that to my knowledge, we are the only junior college program that submitted an entry and are in competition with all of the NCAA Division 2 and 3 four-year programs. It is an honor to be in such great company. This accomplishment truly showcases our students’ ability to compete at the highest levels and hold their own against groups that have junior and senior-level performers.”

Thirty-two collegiate programs and 102 high schools from across the country entered the contest. Other Division 2 and 3 finalists are Eastern New Mexico University, Manchester University, West Texas A&M University, and Western Illinois University. There also are categories for Division 1 colleges, small high schools, medium high schools, and large high schools.

The Buccaneer band is part of the Blinn College Music Department, which also offers choral and vocal studies, piano study, brass ensemble, woodwind ensemble, jazz band, percussion ensemble, and steel drum band. For more information, including scholarship and audition opportunities, visit

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