Did anyone ever play in Marching Bands?

kzac

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Raising my hand.... Yes I played in marching band ... High School, and College... Yes I was on the drum line.... Tough part back then was carving out your own drum ... and capturing your own animals to get skins for drum heads... its a whole lot easier today...
 

donothorpe

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It was nostalgic to read the many marching band comments. It brought back memories of when I played the drums in the 52nd Army Band at Fort Ord in 1958 and later with the Band Detachment at Fort Jackson, SC. I was friends with some drummers that later went on to do quite well for themselves. I haven't heard from any of them and wonder if anyone out there knows them -- Al Beldini, who played with Kai Winding and Bill Evans, Joe Gray, who played with Jerry Fielding, and Bob Frediani, who taught drums in the Bay area. Since I am 87 now, I guess some of those guys may have passed on, but I would love to hear from anyone who knew them. later I managed a Drum Shop in Salt Lake City and got to host several well known drummers in the late 60's. The one I remember the best was Joe Morello, who was a gentle, humble person with fantastic chops. By the way, I still play the drums, at least I did before Covi-19. A year ago I was playing in 5 different bands -- Rock, Blues, Country, Big Band Swing, and on rare occasions, Jazz. Sadly, I have slowed down somewhat, but I still can keep a solid beat :) -- Don Thorpe do[email protected]
 
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Old Drummer

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A half-century later, this is still a sore subject for me.

Yes, I played in my high school's marching band and liked it very much. But I was kicked out after my first year, which itself involved near-constant conflicts with the band director.

You see, the band director either didn't like me, didn't like my type, or both. He had the rule that all male members of the band had to have short, almost military haircuts. This had already been ruled unconstitutional, but he and others (coaches) got around the Constitution by claiming that theirs were extracurricular activities, and as such they could mandate hairstyles. Since unlike sports, band was also a for credit course in school, I don't think the band director had a leg to stand on. Then again, I was in no position to hire a lawyer.

So I got a haircut, and when that wasn't short enough for him, I bought a short-hair wig. The wig pissed him off. He didn't know how to handle that. He just didn't like "dirty hippies," or me.

There were other indignities, including winning the challenges for first chair only to have the band director appoint the first and second chairs. His excuse was that tradition decreed that they go to upperclassmen. I didn't complain, though I knew he had it in for me.

The next summer at band camp he managed to get rid of me for good. I made the mistake of sneaking out of my cabin after lights out and got caught. He called my parents and told them to pick me up. I was permanently expelled from band. I could argue that other kids also sneaked out--it was kind of a tradition--but I did it, got caught, and didn't have a leg to stand on. I could have also apologized and begged to be allowed back into the band. Others recommended that I do this and it might have worked. But I was tired of battling the jerk.

I also already knew that the real musicians at my school didn't bother with the school band. Several of us were already gigging, and I was the only one who even tried to play in it. The others didn't want to waste their time on an activity that was more a quasi-military display of conservative values than anything having much to do with music.

I think or at least hope that school music ed programs have gotten better since my time. My daughter, a cellist, had a very productive relationship with her school orchestra teacher. Like me but more so, my daughter was just way better than the other kids in the school orchestra. The teacher saw this right away and encouraged my daughter to audition for a competitive youth orchestra in a nearby big city, recommended a famous cello teacher, and otherwise took my daughter under her wing. I don't think my school band director would have known talent if he fell over it, or if he did, he wouldn't have cared.

To this day, when I see hair flowing out from below the helmets of NFL players, I marvel. Those guys wouldn't have been allowed to play football at my high school, and neither could they have played in the band.

As fate had it, a couple years later I spent the fall semester at a small college where I WAS the percussion section in the marching band. A clarinet player was tapped to play the bass drum, and believe it or not, the third member of our percussion section was a blind kid. He could play a little bit, but I had to continually shout marching orders to him. Come on, a blind kid in a marching band? It was a ragtag outfit to say the least. The band director offered me a scholarship to return the next year, but I had other things to do and didn't stay.

Soon afterward, I discovered that some college marching bands were doing really cool, creative things. I always knew that was possible, and kind of liked marching band, but my attempt to fit into one didn't work out. "Dirty hippies" weren't welcome.
 

OttawaDrumGuy

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Used to spend many summers at my aunt’s place in Gananoque and would love going to Fort Henry to watch the band and David the Goat.
David is still around - they're now up to David the XII. And since David was getting lonely, they've added a second goat named Henrietta. Unfortunately, there will be no Guard again this summer - fingers crossed that they'll make a return next summer.
 

mcjaco

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All four years in high school. I hated concert band, but loved Marching and Pep Band. Bass drum Fr. year, quads soph year, snare, jr. year, and back to quads senior year.

This was my Senior year when we finally got to participate in our own Indoor Drumline competition (if this works....it's a FB vid).

 
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idrum4fun

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Just found my 1972 Graduation Year Book from Northview High in Covina, CA. Snapped a picture with my iPhone, so it might not be the clearest picture! That's me in the third row on the left! I also dated the Majorette! Good times and good memories of Marching Band!

-Mark
 

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712drummer

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Three years junior high marching band, 4 yrs high school marching band, 4 years college marching band and 2 years drum and bugle corps. All snare drum.
 

DavedrumsTX

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David is still around - they're now up to David the XII. And since David was getting lonely, they've added a second goat named Henrietta. Unfortunately, there will be no Guard again this summer - fingers crossed that they'll make a return next summer.
Hopefully it comes back next year. A wonderful tradition
 


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