What is a Marching Band?

A marching band is a group of musicians, typically woodwinds, brass, and percussionists, who perform choreographed movements while performing music. These bands arose from the popularity of military bands, and march music was frequently written for military bands. Many young musicians today, both in high school and college, join a marching band through their schools. For adults, there are even a few professional marching bands.

A marching band from a secondary or high school with less experience may participate in a few local parades. They may also have a dance team or a flag team marching with them, and a drum major is almost always present. Uniforms used to be quite ornate, with high top hats and ornate coats and pants displaying a school’s colors.

Today, it’s more likely to see a local marching band wearing matching t-shirts and shorts. This is a more cost-effective and often more comfortable method of marching. Traditional marching bands do exist, and they’re most likely to be found in schools with a long history of band excellence.

A marching band usually marches in a parade, which almost goes without saying. During half-time, the more elaborate bands may also perform moves and routines for sporting events. As part of their half-time show, college football teams frequently feature local bands.

A marching band should be musically proficient as well as capable of moving as one unit. In most small school bands, marching is simply stepping to the beat of the music. Different marching techniques, such as the high military-style step or the glide or roll step, may be used more experienced bands.

Many schools no longer have these bands due to budget cuts to music programs. Many teachers do not have the time or inclination to devote additional hours to this cause because these bands require long hours of practice to move as one. Instead, where school music programs exist, schools may offer opportunities to join bands that perform non-marching performances.

Marches are frequently composed from the best brass and woodwind band music. Even if they are not musicians, most people can easily recognize a Sousa march.

Even though the marching band as an art form no longer has the same level of popularity, there are still competitions and parades for bands all over the United States. Large parades, such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Rose Parade in Pasadena, attract a diverse range of talented performers.