Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Marching band programs and philosophies have changed considerably since the early part of the 1960s. The advent of contemporary marching band concepts (techniques/styles) has had a profound influence on the development, participation, and growth of marching band programs throughout the United States. The marching band continues to evolve into an art form closely associated with the American culture. The purpose of this study was to describe, in terms of organizational structures, marching concepts employed, and the addition of auxiliary units, the activities of the ten Southeastern Conference (SEC) marching band programs for the 1981 season. A questionnaire was developed and mailed to the ten marching band directors of the SEC. All ten respondents returned useable questionnaires for the study. Items included in the questionnaire were specifically designed to provide information in several categories: (1) Professional staff, (2) Graduate assistants, (3) Student staff, (4) Other positions, (5) Recruitment, (6) Pre-season, (7) Marching techniques--fundamentals of drill, (8) Marching styles instituted, (9) Show charting, (10) One-week shows, (11) Halftime shows, (12) Travel, (13) Auxiliary units, (14) Grading, service awards, and scholarships, (15) Bowl games, (16) Band histories, and (17) Free response. In addition, SEC marching band directors were requested to provide musical arrangements, halftime-show drill charts, and photographs. Among the major findings of the study were: (1) SEC marching band programs are highly complex organizations consisting of from 122 to 300 members. (2) While all ten SEC marching band programs have directors, eight have the faculty position of associate/assistant marching band director. (3) Seven SEC marching band programs have resident arrangers on the staff. (4) Of the ten SEC marching bands, seven employ graduate assistants. (5) Eight of the respondents indicated the use of student staff. (6) The number of 1981 recruited bandmembers ranged from 37 to 138. (7) Only one SEC marching band program did not hold pre-season practice. (8) Stationary and motion marching techniques varied for each of the SEC marching band programs. (9) Six respondents indicated that multiple drill (corps style) was the most representative style of their marching band programs while four respondents reported eclecticism (a combination of all marching styles). (10) Four respondents indicated the existence of written band histories at their university.