Did anyone ever play in Marching Bands?

heythere

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I first started playing live in a drum marching band when I was a kid. There is nothing like the awesome sound of a marching band coming down the street. The sound of the drums, horns and the majorettes twirling is a show wrapped up all in one. John Philip Sousa here we come. Do any of you have any marching band experience? I'd love to hear about it.
 

RogersLudwig

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Played trumpet in the Reseda Marching Band when I was in elementary school. I was so small compared to the rest of the band that they needed to stuff rolled up newspaper into the inside hat band so my hat would stay on my head. Good memories.
 

DanRH

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Yup. Cymbals in 10th grade and snare in 11th and 12th.
 

LRod1707

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Started in what I believe was 5th grade till like 7th grade. I started on the trumpet (I was bad) and they quickly reassigned me to the snare, LOL! After that I never played in the marching band but did play in the school's orchestra for a couple of years. That led to forming a band and playing talent shows and such.
 

bpaluzzi

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I played in marching band starting in 8th grade, and all throughout high school and college. Also marched a WGI independent line (PIO), and taught lines at the high school, college, and PIO / PIW level. Played in a "professional" drumline for a year as well, the Pittsburgh Steeline (drumline for the Steelers)
 

Sequimite

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It was a first year high school and I didn't sign up for band. Met a fellow drummer in the hall who told me that they didn't have enough drummers!!! The band director was a jazz drummer and when I learned they only had the bass drums to fill in marching band I told him I would do it as long as I didn't have to play on the down beat. He said, "that's cool" so I agreed. First football game came and our uniforms still hadn't arrived. We got on the bus in St Louis with the temperature in the 60s, got off in Columbia Missouri with the temperature in the 20s. We kicked ass and were promptly invited to play at the Notre Dame, St. Louis U basketball game at Kiel Auditorium which was way more fun than freezing in mid Missouri.
 

esooy

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I played snare in high school, but once that was over I never did it again. We used the old skool type snare drums with a sling. Chrome over wood Ludwigs, with black dot heads and 3S baseball bat sticks. High step marching and all of that. It was cool when someone posted a video on the YouTubey of our band playing from 1984 or so! I never took part in any of the drum corp stuff, but know a lot of people that did which gave them a great experience of that type of marching.
 

langmick

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I can remember being a young kid in the late 70s and getting on the Pitt Stadium field and standing next to this huge guy with big hair walloping a big bass drum and how that felt. That was it for me.

Played all four years in HS in a pretty good band, our instructor was educated at WVU which had one of the best percussion departments in the country then. Started out with bad equipment from the 70s and gradually got some nice Luwig gear and XL carriers. Lots of fun and great memories. The quad player who was next to me is now the CEO of Brown-Forman, owners of Jack Daniels among others, which suits him well.
 

pgm554

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Started in jr high playing tenor drum.
Lucked out in that Vince Colaiuta was a member of the drum line and I learned from him as well as others.
Marched in drum and bugle corp (Royal Crusaders #9 DCI) and the VFW orchestra (played for a couple of presidents).
I briefly played with my colleges marching band ,but they were so bad I quit.

The Brownsville marching band at one point in time was considered the best in the US after we won the Festival of States competition in Florida.
We played arrangements from the Kilts,Troopers,Boston Crusaders,Royal Aires).
Lots of my buds attended Berklee or went to music school.

Unfortunately the economy over the years has tanked in SW PA, leaving the band without members.
My graduating class was over 300 ,they now average just under 100.

How bad are they?


Leaves me depressed.
 

dtk

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3 years in highschool. Went to try out for the OU Marching 110 but quit before I auditioned. Too competitive.
6 years ago I joined an Italian American Marching band...we do a lot of festivals and 'normal' holidays. Its a lot of fun, I get excercise and I get paid. We do about 30 events a year...just heard we were offered a procession on 4/25...
 

pgm554

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I can remember being a young kid in the late 70s and getting on the Pitt Stadium field and standing next to this huge guy with big hair walloping a big bass drum and how that felt. That was it for me.

Played all four years in HS in a pretty good band, our instructor was educated at WVU which had one of the best percussion departments in the country then. Started out with bad equipment from the 70s and gradually got some nice Luwig gear and XL carriers. Lots of fun and great memories. The quad player who was next to me is now the CEO of Brown-Forman, owners of Jack Daniels among others, which suits him well.
I got accepted to WVU ,but couldn't afford the tuition .
Phil Faini was running the dept.
Colaiuta used to attend their fine arts camp during summer break.

A story comes to mind when I was with the VFW orchestra .
A number of members were attending WVU and we got sheet music for free to perform.
One of the numbers was written by Faini called I think Yankee Doodle Flammy.
The drum part was pretty difficult in that a lot of what we played was the usual marches and concert music.
After one of the drummers looked at all the rudimental fills he said eff you Phil.
If you ever get a chance to speak to Colaiuta,
Ask him about Eff you Phil.
 
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Squirrel Man

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Started off my... "career" lol in drumming in a marching band when I was 9 or 10 or something. Parade band, first at holding the banner, then color guard (fake wooden rifles). Then cymbals, single tom, double tom, bass, triple tom then graduated to the coveted snare.

Then I turned into a punk teenager lol
 

pgm554

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3 years in highschool. Went to try out for the OU Marching 110 but quit before I auditioned. Too competitive.
6 years ago I joined an Italian American Marching band...we do a lot of festivals and 'normal' holidays. Its a lot of fun, I get excercise and I get paid. We do about 30 events a year...just heard we were offered a procession on 4/25...
I would assume you had to compete with percussion majors too.
At WVU after your audition to get accepted ,you were expected to play 4 years marching band too.
 

Vicey

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I marched all four years of high school: bass drum as a freshman and snare after that. I enjoyed it, mostly, but the director became extremely competitive. We weren't there to play music, eventually, so much as we were there to beat the other bands and be recognized as the best in the state. As a teenager, I swallowed this ideology. In college, I quit marching band after a week and stuck with jazz and orchestra. To this day I have to remind myself that playing is an art that brings joy to people, not a sport or a war. I greatly respect DCI-style chops and discipline, but I had to turn my back on them order to grow as a musician. If you can use DCI-style playing to make yourself a better overall musician, my Australian-style bush hat with a gigantic plume is off to you.
 

CSR

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I marched all four years of high school - several Buffalo Bills halftime shows, Washington DC parade, and lots of others. The band was champion state large-school field band a couple of years. We did a high school halftime show every week - different music and different choreography. I learned to high-step with a bass drum strapped on, do several dance steps, 270 degree spins, etc. Lots of fun.
 


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