Meant as a day to build awareness around the ‘marching arts’, Marching Band Day is all about those upbeat, often cheerful bands which also happen to be moving around while playing.
Taking place on March 4th (‘march forth’ – get it?) this day is for all band geeks out there to celebrate one of the most musical of past-times.
The History of Marching Band Day
For a good few years now, there’s been a petition active in the USA to make March the 4th the official National Marching Band Day – but marching bands themselves have been around for donkey’s years. A marching band is always easy to spot even if you don’t hear them first, as they usually have a matching uniform – most commonly of a military style – and often have members who don’t carry instruments but use flags and other props to add action to the music. These are called a colorguard and accompany most marching bands which you will see.
The first marching bands appeared in the 1800s by all accounts. They originated from groups of traveling musicians who would perform at festivals centuries ago, and as time went on they would become the foundation for military bands. And military bands are where marching bands directly evolved from. Marching bands in the USA are known mostly for performing at sports events – namely, American football matches. The oldest recorded marching band was the Notre Dame Marching Band, which was started up in 1845.
One of the most spectacular things about marching bands is the formation – back when they started up, the band might form the initials of the teams that were to play that day. But in modern times, the huge crowds that events like the Superbowl pulls together, call for something special – video games, film scenes, complex patterns – marching bands make their performance even more special by stepping out in a formation that makes up recognizable shapes when viewed from above.
How to Celebrate Marching Band Day
Even if you don’t have a musical bone in your body, you can still enjoy Marching Band Day!
Get back to the roots of the marching band by going along to a sports match, or listening to some of the great, upbeat marching band music out there. There are also plenty of pretty amazing videos on Youtube to see of marching bands doing their thing, including some jaw-dropping formations at some of the big American football matches in the States.