What are the Marching Arts?

The Marching Arts are a collection of fine arts related activities that are closely associated with wind music. The Marching Arts include, but are not necessarily limited to, Marching Bands, Drum Corps, Pep Bands, Color Guard, Winter Guard, and Indoor Percussion. All of these activities are supported at both the high school and collegiate levels.

Although marching and pep bands initially existed to fill the role of half-time entertainment at football games, the modern Marching Arts, while maintaining their enduring traditions, have grown into stand-alone activities. The Marching Arts often participate in competitive events with panels of adjudicators assessing the groups on a number of captions. Some of the captions often assessed in competition are: Music Performance (Ensemble), Music Performance (Individual), Music Effect, Visual Performance, Visual Effect, General Effect, Color Guard, Percussion, Brass, Woodwinds, Drum Major, among others.

What is Marching Band?

A marching band is a group in which instrumental musicians perform for entertainment, and prepare for a competition. Instrumentation typically includes brass, woodwinds, and percussion instruments. Most marching bands wear some kind of uniform (often of a military style) that includes the school or organization's name or symbol. Most high school marching bands are accompanied by a colorguard, a group of girls and occasionally guys, who add a visual interpretation to the music through the use of props, most often flags and rifles.

Marching bands are generally categorized by function, size, age, gender, instruments and by the style of show they perform. In addition to traditional parade performances, many marching bands also perform field shows at special events like competitions. Increasingly, marching bands perform indoor concerts that implement many songs, traditions, and flair from outside performances.

Drum Corps International (DCI), formed in 1972, is the non-profit governing body for junior drum and bugle corps in the U.S. and Canada. Junior corps are composed of members 21 years of age and younger. DCI is composed of member corps who have earned their membership through competition. It is responsible for developing and enforcing the rules of competition and is the sanctioning body for junior corps competitions. DCI is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. Its Board of Directors is composed primarily of directors of the member corps.

The stated purpose of a DCI corps is "...to provide a life changing experience for youth through the art of marching music performance." The DCI competitive summer tour, consisting of DCI-sanctioned competitions throughout the United States, culminates in August with the week-long DCI World Championships.

Other drum corps associations around the world are largely based upon DCI.