Did anyone ever play in Marching Bands?

cribbon

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I marched in high school one year and hated it; I've never liked marching band arrangements and to my ears, nothing really sounds good outdoors. Luckily I was also on the football team, so I got a pass during football season, but I had to march for the rest of the year after that. Before the next school year started I got into a state youth orchestra that practiced on Saturdays during the school year, so that got me out of marching band for the rest of high school. This was before multi-tenors/quads were invented.

Honestly, if quads had existed and there had been a drum corps near me when I was in high school, I would've jumped on that in a heartbeat. I played tympani in high school and absolutely love drum corps, especially the quad players. I really caught the bug in 2000 when DCI finals were held in my area. I went every day/night I could.
 

A.TomicMorganic

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Didn't do until Jr. College. Hated the marching part. Do play in a local brass band just for laughs about 3,4 times a year, but we never march.
 

HowardW

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Marching and concert bands in high school. Marching season I was the first chair snare, but for special songs would switch out to xylophone (piano was my first instrument.) Concert season was tympani and keyboards.

When I went to college I was an engineering major. I played in a couple of 1-hour percussion ensemble elective classes, but "band" was for the music majors.
 

drummertom

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I got drafted into the Marching Band my senior year in H.S, and joined when they told me the band was going to march in a few parades in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. Definitely an interesting experience! Small town H.S., I think we had more snare drummers than any other instrument, so the overall balance was first rate! :)

Press coverage here:

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langmick

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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.
I attended summer camp one year. One of the instructors had just graduated and came back to help out. We were shooting the s outsie with other students and he offered some advice. Don't be a music major. There aren't any jobs. :)

We also would attend Percussion 80, they put on some amazing shows. One had a finale based on Yes music. Another had John Beck, and tymps rising from the pit. Another with sets in the spot booths, full surround sound. Fun times!
 

Johnny2eyes

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Started with 6th grade band and finished my Senior year. Section leader my last year. March in the Tournament of Roses parade in 1976. Our band director was outstanding. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.
 

lossforgain

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I marched all through high school, even had a pretty good competitive run in my junior year. Then I became a drum major and it all went downhill.
 

wolfereeno

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8th through 12th grade in Port Washington NY. So many fun times. Musically? Not so much. LOL

Marched down 5th ave in NYC a few times for Pulaski Day or whatever parade didn't have very high standards.
Marched in Disney World
Played dozens of local HS football games where we got stoned as soon as halftime was over.

But best of all, marched through Studio 54 in ~1979, which was its heyday for a birthday party for its owner, Steve Rubell. Truman Capote led the band, Diana Ross sang Happy Birthday from the top of a 10' tall birthday cake, and because it was poorly planned and was getting too late for us, we got stuck in the middle of a raving dance floor when we were done playing. I was 1t was mayhem.
 

hsosdrum

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I marched '67 – '70 in HS band; was also in the Royal Cavaliers (a local San Fernando Valley private marching band) in '68 – '69. But the BEST was the L.A. Valley College marching band. It was over 100 members strong, with arrangements written by Don Nelligan, who taught jazz arranging and notation at the college, so the charts were much hipper than the typical marching-band fare. The band included a marching electric bass (the jazz-band bassist played through a wheeled Cerwin-Vega bass amp that ran on motorcycle batteries and was pushed by a marching "amp-pusher") and a marching electronic organ (the jazz-band keyboardist played a Vox Jaguar that was mounted on top of another wheeled Cerwin-Vega amp that was pulled by a marching "amp-puller").

Along with Nelligan's arrangements, the bass and organ turned the ensemble into a 100-piece rock band, so naturally the drum section had to match it. It was a large drum section — 12 snares, 10 tenors (timp-toms yet to be invented), 4 basses and 2 cymbals, and the drum major wanted us to sound like a giant multi-headed version of John Bonham. So we took the best 4 snare drummers and tuned their drums high for definition while the other 8 played theirs tuned very low, for a wet 'sloshy' sound. The tenors were tuned down low as well, and the industrial arts department made tenor drum mallets out of aluminum tubing with plexiglass heads. The tenor guys played by extending the mallets high over their heads and swinging them down HARD. We worked out drum parts that sounded like Bonham beats and practiced at sounding like a huge rock drumset, as opposed to sounding like a huge marching-band drum section.

The band director (Richard Carlson) was personal friends with Remo Belli, so that band was one of the first to field test Remo CS drumheads (at that time — 1970, they featured a coated dot on a coated head, no clear/black dots yet). We needed those heads for the tenor drums because those aluminum/plexi mallets would go through Emperors after only a couple of days. Carlson didn't like what he called "all that goofy jumping-around", so after the band made one trip around the track under cadence and our theme ("Wichita Train Whistle", by Nelligan) he'd quickly get us into concert formation and we simply stood still while we played kicked total a$$. My mother lived a mile from the college and when the band played at football games she always said she could hear the drum section as if it was playing next door.

Playing in that band was the most fun I've ever had standing up!
 
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wolfereeno

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So many fun times. 8th through 12th grade in Port Washington NY. Musically? Not so much. We sucked.

Highlights:

* Marched down 5th ave in NYC a few times for Pulaski Day or whatever parade didn't have very high standards.
* Marched down Main Street at Disneyworld high as Finder.
* Dozens of local HS football games where as soon as halftime was over, we'd sneak off to get stoned.

But best of all, we marched through Studio 54 in ~1978, which was its heyday, for a birthday party for owner Steve Rubell. We got there around 7pm and did a quick rehearsal where we walked through what we'd do: march in playing Staying Alive or some mess, then make a little formation on the dance floor and play Happy Birthday and exit the club. After that, we got to hang out for a few hours and wander around this totally over the top decked out but mostly empty place. And of course weed was smoked up in the private balconies and booze was snuck off the bars.

At some point as it started to fill up, they told us to go out side to our bus, change into our uniforms, and wait for our surprise entrance. But this was the days of coked up pandemonium and the owners stuffing bags of money in the ceiling. Of course nothing happened on time!

We waited for a while until the Band Director threatened to leave if they didn't push up our start. After all, our parents would be waiting in the HS parking lot to take us home and it was still an hour drive back to town. So they moved us up but really weren't well prepared. We entered through absolute mayhem and police lines in front of the club, we get through the insanity in their lobby, and get ready to play our way into the main room. This is all 100% true.

So Truman Capote led the band, Diana Ross sang Happy Birthday from the top of a 10' tall birthday cake, and every celebrity you could picture was there. But because they were unprepared, we got stuck in the middle of the raving dance floor as soon as we were done playing. We didn't get to do our little formation and instead became wedged into a giant crowd of half naked people dancing high on coke.
It was figging mayhem. People were trying to take my hat and grab the snare drum I was wearing. Someone offered me money for part of my uniform. I was 15 and it was nuts. But the guy in front of me was a tuba player who was also on the football team, who turned his tuba sideways like a cattle pusher and drove his way across the dance-floor to get us to the exit. I recall stories of his barreling over super model Cheryl Tiegs.

We got on the bus with our screaming band director who miraculously didn't forget anyone and didn't get fired for getting us home 2+ hours late. It was a fucking great time...
 

Rockin' Billy

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All through high school in marching band playing Baritone horn. We had the number one band around In competition. Got to play the half time show for N.Y. Jets. I played Baritone horn in marching and concert band, and drums in big band jazz band. Loved it!
 

jmcohen

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Marched in the Royal Ju-Dells, a bell and drum corps in Akron, Ohio. We would march down Derby Downs, where they held the finals of the Soapbox Derby every year. It was a really steep hill, and we used “Hi-Steppers.” These were rigs that held your snare drum up in front of you. We really had to lean back going down that hill. Overall, the drum corps was a lot of fun for a 13-14 year old boy surrounded by cute girls who twirled batons.
 

drummingbulldog

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I played in our high school's marching, symphonic & jazz bands. Marching taught me about team work & playing with other drummers & percussionists. Symphonic band & jazz band were more playing off of everyone but we did strive for an ensemble sound in marching too. I almost did DCI one summer. I couldn't read good enough. Chops wise, marching is great & you have to pay real attention to dynamics & visual stuff as well as lining up on the right mark. It's hot here in the summer in Florida & band camps are not fun until later when you've learned your show & marching routine. It was a blast.
 

Drm1979

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Marched all 4 years bass drum freshman year, tenors for the next 3 years. Almost didn't make it my senior year as I broke my leg in the off season between my junior and senior year. Spent 6 months in a cast, used my drum set as rehab for my leg (bass foot) came out of the cast about 1 month before summer band camp started my senior year. Great memories. We were more like a family rather than just a drumline. We'd all hang out at my house having pizza and pool parties. Multiple camping trips and other shenanigans.
 

Chopsnbops

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Played cymbals my freshman year, quads my sophomore, snare junior year, and then 2nd bass drum and section leader my senior year. Our football team won the state championship so it was a lot of fun to get great seats at all of those crazy competitive Texas high school football games. We got to make up our own cadences and do drum line battles with other local high schools, it was a lot of fun

Also played in jazz band but I HATED concert band
 

Tornado

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Marched snare 4 years of high school. That was enough for me.
 


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