How do I join the United States Marine Corps Band?
The Marine Corps is always on the lookout for new talent for its bands. The selection process is demanding but many new Marines join our ranks each year. This process is started when an individual contacts their local Marine Corps recruiter to find out about becoming a Marine. During that conversation he or she will request to speak to the regional placement director for the Marine Music Program. This Marine is called a Musical Technical Assistant (MTA) and is responsible for the screening, auditioning, and processing of all individuals joining the Marine Corps as a musician.
Where are auditions conducted?
Auditions for the 10 Fleet Marine Corps Bands are conducted throughout the entire United States and scheduled with the Musical Technical Assistant for your area. Auditions for the “President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band are conducted only at Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., visit the "Career Information " section of their website for more information. The U.S. Marine Drum & Bugle Corps has its own Musical Technical Assistant based in Quantico, VA, visit the Audition Information section of their webpage for more information.
What music must I perform for an instrumental audition?
Instrumental auditions usually include a prepared musical selection of the applicant’s own choosing, sight-reading various styles of music, and major and minor scales or rudiments.
How many bands are there?
There are 10 field bands in the Marine Corps; 8 are located in the continental United States, one in Hawaii and one in Japan. The Marine Corps also supports the Commandant’s Own (Drum and Bugle Corps) and the President’s Own in Washington DC.
What are my chances of getting into the The President's Own or The Commandant's Own?
The President’s Own and Commandant’s Own have separate audition requirements than the 10 field bands. See their websites to answer any further questions.
How long do I have to sign up for?
Initial enlistment in the United States Marine Corps is for a term of four years.
Do Marine Musicians have to go through boot camp?
All Marine Musicians wishing to join either the U.S. Marine Drum & Bugle Corps or one of the 10 Fleet Marine Corps Bands are required to attend Recruit Training, or Boot Camp. Recruit Training is held at one of the two Marine Corps Recruit Depots, San Diego, California or Parris Island, South Carolina. Members of the “President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band are not required to attend Recruit Training.
What kind of training is required before I get assigned to a band?
After attending Recruit Training and Marine Combat Training, Marine Musicians attend a six-month basic music course at the Naval School of Music in Norfolk, Virginia.
What musical subjects are studied at the Naval School of Music?
Subjects studied at the Naval School of Music include Basic Theory, Basic Ear Training, private instrumental lessons, Marine Band marching techniques and ensemble instruction.
Can Marines choose which band they go to?
Upon completion of the midterm audition at the school of music, Marines are given the opportunity to select three bands where they prefer to be stationed. Headquarters Marine Corps considers those choices along with the needs of the individual bands when assigning Marines to their first tour of duty.
Will the Marine Corps provide me with a musical instrument?
The Marine Corps provides all supplies necessary for a Marine Musician. This includes instruments, valve oil, slide grease, reeds, mouthpieces, cleaning supplies, etc. Musicians are permitted to use their own personal instruments of professional caliber in any ensemble.
What is a typical day in the band?
The band’s schedule varies depending on the season. The band schedules rehearsals and logistical time around the performance schedule. Physical training, field training, and periods of military education are included in the daily schedule.
What does the band do in time of war?
While at war or in the field, the band’s primary mission is to provide security for the 1st Marine Division Headquarters element.
Who conducts the band
The band is conducted primarily by the Band Officer, Enlisted Conductor, and when appropriate, the Drum Major. Other Marines in the band are often given the opportunity to lead the band through ceremonies or smaller commitments.
Can I enter a Marine Corps Band as a Conductor/Band Officer
All Marine Musicians enter as a basic musician. Marine Corps Bands promote from the Enlisted ranks within the occupational field. Opportunities for selection as a Conductor/Band Officer will occur. Selection depends on educational, musical, and military qualifications.
Will I be able to further my musical training while I serve
All active-duty military members are entitled to college tuition assistance programs. Many of our musicians earn their degrees while serving. In addition, Marine Musicians may return to the
Naval School of Music
for advanced musical training in traditional harmony, music arranging, conducting, and rehearsal techniques.
What types of music does the 1st Marine Division Band perform
The 50 Marines in the 1st Marine Division Band combine to create many different ensembles capable of performing a wide variety of music. Primarily a ceremonial band, we play for many different events for military and civilian organizations including ceremonies, parades, and patriotic concerts. Other genres include classical, standard and contemporary jazz, latin, rock, and country. The type of ensemble provided for any performance is based on the band's operational tempo, the appropriateness of the event, and the desires of the sponsor.
Who do I speak to about requesting a performance by the 1st Marine Division Band
The Bandmaster is the point of contact for all questions concerning the scheduling of the band. He may be reached at (760) 725-3516. If you wish to submit a request form, follow the instructions on the Request the Band page or email 1MARDIV_BAND@USMC.MIL