I Love A Marching Band

by John Riggio

Have you ever watched a parade? Ever watched the halftime show at a football game? Marching bands are a big deal in the United States, and they are a part of our culture. Ever watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade? It's the largest parade in the world, and it has a lot of marching bands. And if you need an excuse to sing this song, March 4th is Marching Band Day. Who doesn't love a marching band?

While this song is in 6/8 time, it's easier to count in two, which is how John conducted it with our singers. He also kept the phrases short and singable between breaths, which help to make this song easy to sing, even for youngsters. On our recording there is always a melody being played by at least one of our instrumentalists, so your singers should have no trouble following along. At measure 55 there is a drum cadence section, so in live performance you might want to have your students march in place, or perhaps march in a circle. You might even want to pick a student to be your drum major, and have them wield a baton and twirl it around if they are able. (If you need inspiration, watch the end of the movie The Music Man, where they play the song "Seventy-Six Trombones." It's the stuff of legend.)

As part of your regular music class or your Music In Our Schools Month focus, talk about what a marching band is with your students. What makes it unique? What kinds of instruments might you see and hear? Would any of your students like to be in a marching band? (We can tell you from personal experience, it's a joyful thing!)

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.