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Thread: do lots of schools in the USA have marching bands?

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    Default do lots of schools in the USA have marching bands?

    Hi, Bridie here,
    is it true that schools in the USA have marching bands? we don't have anything like that here in the UK!
    It sounds awesome!
    How old are you when you get to play in one?
    do they all have them? and do they just come out for special events or do they play all the time?
    I would so have been in one if we even had them, the best our school did was have violin,guitar,recorder ( eek!) age 4-11, at my school now ( I am 12) we are 11 -18, we have loads more things we can try, but not drums. I got to play in the annual school performance, in september, it was real fun. but drummers seem few and far between!
    and is it just in the US, or do other countries have them?

    thanks I am just wondering!

  2. #2

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    Default Re: do lots of schools in the USA have marching bands?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bridie View Post
    Hi, Bridie here,
    is it true that schools in the USA have marching bands? we don't have anything like that here in the UK!
    It sounds awesome!
    How old are you when you get to play in one?
    do they all have them? and do they just come out for special events or do they play all the time?
    I would so have been in one if we even had them, the best our school did was have violin,guitar,recorder ( eek!) age 4-11, at my school now ( I am 12) we are 11 -18, we have loads more things we can try, but not drums. I got to play in the annual school performance, in september, it was real fun. but drummers seem few and far between!
    and is it just in the US, or do other countries have them?

    thanks I am just wondering!
    Hi Bridie - Always nice to "see" you when you're on!

    I can't speak for all schools in the U.S., but I know when I was attending middle school, which were grades 7-9, we had band class and marching band was something you signed up for as an extra-curricular activity. We also had another elective class that was strictly for jazz musicians. The marching band was also offered as part of music classes in the high school that I attended, however, was not part of the regular curriculum. It was always an after school activity and it also counted towards music credits. Both marching bands were allowed to perform at school sporting events such as basketball and football games, usually only home games.

    I am only speaking for the schools that I attended as a kid, in one state of the U.S., so I can only speak to that. Now-a-days, it may be a little different with the way U.S. schools receive funding and such. It may be entirely different for public vs. private schools as well.

    Hope that answered part of your question anyway.
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  3. #3

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    Pretty much every high school has a marching band now. And it's not something extra you sign up for. If you are in band, you have marching season in the fall until winter break and concert season after winter beak until the end of the year.
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  4. #4

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    Default Re: do lots of schools in the USA have marching bands?

    Yep, it seems to be just about every high school. In addition to marching and playing at the half-time of a football game (American style football), the marching bands often will march in parades as a competition.
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  5. #5

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    I believe the above is true for my state also.

    We even have a battle of the marching bands in October. I'm guessing it's the first "gig" of the year where they all get to see what the other has to offer.

    If you Google high school marching bands you will get lot of vids.

    Here's one from my school only a hundreds years into the future from when I went there.

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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by pastor_bob View Post
    Yep, it seems to be just about every high school. In addition to marching and playing at the half-time of a football game (American style football), the marching bands often will march in parades as a competition.
    Well, although the marching bands march in parades, I don't believe there are parade competitions. The halftime shows are the shows they use for marching competitions which take place on football fields. But completions typically only happen on the high school level. College bands are just for show.

    To the original poster:

    My high school alma mater just went through band camp last week where they relearn the fundamentals and begin working on this year's show. Band camp was Monday-Friday for 8 hours where it was 95+ degrees (F) every day (and every hour) with humidity above 65%. During the school year, they practice Monday-Friday every morning for two hours. Plus they do two hour rehearsals on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school. And the percussion section has extra practices on top of that. The football team is always surprised at how much the band works.

    Go on YouTube and look up some DCI (Drum Corp International) videos. DCI is like professional marching band. Some groups to check out are the Blue Devils, Santa Clara Vanguard, and Phantom Regiment. Those groups are consistently very good.

    Also, check out this other American thing called indoor percussion or WGI (Winter Guard International). This begins in the late fall with competitions happening in late winter and spring. These groups contain all percussion instruments with a drumline and a front ensemble for melodic music. They march indoors, usually on a basketball court. There is a video of my senior year indoor group in this forum.
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  7. #7

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    When I was in Jr. High (7th& 8th grade) we had marching band. We didn't perform at halftime for football games until High School. We did, however, march in numerous parades across the state...and many were indeed competitive parade competitions. Our band teacher was very good, but very strict and a perfectionist. He would walk in and around us while we were marching down the street. If we were not lifting our legs high enough so that our thighs were parallel with the ground he would smack us in the kneecap with a drumstick, LOL. Looking back, that was a little extreme for 7th graders...
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  8. #8

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    I think it may just be a US thing. We certainly don't have a drumline culture in New Zealand.
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    Hi, wow thanks, I was really curious! I know when I searched e-bay there were so many snare drums etc that came up there were so many in America, so this is why!?
    I would definately be in it if our school had one, I would really love to have a go at playing one of the sets with more than one together, sorry but I have no idea what they are called, they do look heavy though.
    And they are so much deeper too, my new snare is not a marching one, but it is 6.5" deep and I love how it sounds.
    It must be awesome to play with so many others. The closest I've got to that was last year when I did the M S charity fund raiser and drummed with 797 other people. we all had a full drum set, and did a simple groove, but it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up!!
    thank you for answering my questions!
    and xweasel, so you don't have them either? boo!!
    thanks from Bridie.

  10. #10

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    I'm surprised there aren't more in the UK. Now, if you go up to Scotland, there are the marching pipe and drum bands. Now that's the stuff that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

    all the best...

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by kay-gee View Post
    I'm surprised there aren't more in the UK. Now, if you go up to Scotland, there are the marching pipe and drum bands. Now that's the stuff that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

    all the best...
    Hi, yes they have some in Scotland...I have watched them on tv and you tube, I would love to hear one live!
    Bridie

  12. #12

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    Bridie, I'm surprised your school doesn't have a band or orchestra. I know mine did (that was a long time ago), but my childrens' schools also had them.
    My daughter played Cornet & Soprano in the Huddersfield District Youth Orchestra as well as the Kirklees Brass Band. They both had drummers in them, & did lots of concerts & tours. My daughters' last tour with them was to Prague. She missed out after she left as they went to Canada!
    If you want to do more drumming with people you should check out your local council website & see if they have something similar.
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  13. #13

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    Bridie, even the small rural schools in the U.S. have a marching band programs. My wife was the first female to break the 'all-male' Galt Warriors marching band corp back in 1986. She was the only female snare drummer on the drumline as well as the first female drummer in the jazz band which recruited players from the marching band. Here's a pic of my wife during a marching event that paraded through a neighborhood near her high school back in 1986.


  14. #14

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    Hi, how cool! I like your photo. so tit is a marching band, and you play in a drum line? How many snares, and what would an average band have in it?thanks Bridie
    Quote Originally Posted by late8 View Post
    Bridie, even the small rural schools in the U.S. have a marching band programs. My wife was the first female to break the 'all-male' Galt Warriors marching band corp back in 1986. She was the only female snare drummer on the drumline as well as the first female drummer in the jazz band which recruited players from the marching band. Here's a pic of my wife during a marching event that paraded through a neighborhood near her high school back in 1986.


  15. #15

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    Hi,
    Our school doesn't have an actual orchestra or band.. but it is quite good on music..if you are learning an instrument in school, or like me out side of school, the music dept will ask if you want to get involved in any special performances. They are massive on dance and drama so there are chances to accompany performances.. I did get asked last year if I would drum for a local silver band, but I am shy! and because I am in my band anyway I said I didn't have time.
    and the band have had a great 6 months, we are finally getting paid to play!
    Bridie

    Quote Originally Posted by Dodeska View Post
    Bridie, I'm surprised your school doesn't have a band or orchestra. I know mine did (that was a long time ago), but my childrens' schools also had them.
    My daughter played Cornet & Soprano in the Huddersfield District Youth Orchestra as well as the Kirklees Brass Band. They both had drummers in them, & did lots of concerts & tours. My daughters' last tour with them was to Prague. She missed out after she left as they went to Canada!
    If you want to do more drumming with people you should check out your local council website & see if they have something similar.

  16. #16

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    In my area all schools have them some bigger than others or well funded like mine but in my school district they introduce kids to parades and a football game at 7 th grade. Freshman year is when you have all football games and 4-5 parades. My friends school starts good kids at 8th grade small farm town.
    Sabian!!!

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    My school currently has 5 or 6 snares 2 tenors 4 bass and 4 cymbals but we have a small year we normally have 3 tenors 6 snares 5 basses 6 cymbals but we ha tone of people quit
    Sabian!!!

  18. #18

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    Cool! thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by HolyChina View Post
    My school currently has 5 or 6 snares 2 tenors 4 bass and 4 cymbals but we have a small year we normally have 3 tenors 6 snares 5 basses 6 cymbals but we ha tone of people quit

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bridie View Post
    I did get asked last year if I would drum for a local silver band
    What is a silver band?

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by xweasel View Post
    I think it may just be a US thing. We certainly don't have a drumline culture in New Zealand.
    Yeah, same here, although at my school they were going to start a marching band, but only got around to a drum group. Our teacher was an ex-Canadian pipe band drummer (who also used to play at our musicals), so we had some pretty good (albeit strict) drum instruction on a number of instruments, plus kit, which in turn many years later, was able to pass that onto one of my students who went to King's School, Parramatta over here, which is one of the few private schools that have a full marching band in my area.

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    Marching bands,,,,,
    ya wanna play real music & march in da usa ,,,,
    join a real drum & bugle corps !!!!
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    I, for one, am glad that Marching Band season is over for the year! My son plays trumpet in his High School band, but he's only 14 and can't drive yet. He had to be at school at 7:00 every morning so they could practice on the field before school. Plus, home football games every other Friday night and band competitions (out of town) every other Saturday.
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  23. #23

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    Bridie if you realy want to see a great movie on the U.S marching bands and what they are about. You can rent the movie DRUMLINE with Nick Cannon. This is a great colorful story of how students get to join and play in the Drumline. Great drumming etc. You will be amazed if you have not already seen it.

  24. #24

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    Australia doesn’t have much of a marching band thing going on, but my dad has mentioned to me about the marching bands in his school when he was a kid.
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    At my school, there is a middle school concert band, (7-8) and high school concert band, (9-12) but we all combine for one big marching band, but if you're in middle school, you can choose whether you want to be in marching band or not. High school though, if you're in concert band you have to be in marching band and vice versa. It just depends from school to school.
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