The Virginia Honor Band recognition and award was the result of a project and survey assigned to Vincent Tornello in the spring of 1979 by incoming VBODA President Daniel Schoemmell. The survey was in conjunction with the establishment of a state marching band festival. As part of the end result of such a festival, the recognition of bands displaying a comprehensive program was the intent of the Virginia Honor Band Award. Bands achieving superior ratings at the state marching festival and district concert festival were to be recognized with the highest honor that can be bestowed upon bands by the VBODA.
In 1990, the establishment of the various longtime recognitions was approved by the VBODA. They are the Ten Year Honor Band Award, the Fifteen Year Honor Roll Recognition and the Twenty Year “Hall of Fame” Award.
The same awards were established to recognize the directors achieving these same levels. The Ten Year Honor Band Director, Fifteen Year Honor Roll Recognition and the Twenty Year “Hall of Fame” Director.