9 Ideas for High School Marching Band Trips

Grab your clarinets, your snare drums, and your tubas and get ready for some of the most amazing marching band trip opportunities in the United States! We’ve put together a list of some of the most memorable, most-watched, and most fun performance opportunities across the states that we think your group deserves!


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Sight-see, relax, and hone your musical skills with any of these amazing trips, each and every one customizable and perfect for band groups of 20 to 120! (Full trips suggested here)

  • Disney Performing Arts OnStage - You’re marching band is going to love this first opportunity, a chance to play at Disney parks in California or Florida! Both Disney parks offer a Performing Arts OnStage Program, an opportunity in which they will be able to perform, participate in competitions, sit in on festivals, or take part in various professionally guided workshops. Gain more critical teamwork skills in an exciting location while they also become more fine-tuned musicians. Enjoy hands-on help, weekend festivals, National Core of Arts Standards, and a whole lot of Disney fun!
  • Smoky Mountain Music Festival - Gatlinburg really puts together one heck of a music festival, which is why we think your marching band group will love this opportunity to play at the Smoky Mountain Music Festival. Happening each late April and early May, this is one of the most respected and unique festivals of its kind, accepting thousands of students from elementary to high school. Perform among over 6,000 bands from across the country under the direction of the University of Tennessee Knoxville’s Director of Bands W.J. Julian and enjoy the local buzz of downtown’s parade scene. Jazz, concert, marching, and pep bands are welcome!
  • Southern Star Music Festival - Another amazing music festival to top our list is the Southern Star Music Festival in Atlanta, Georgia. This festival also takes place in the spring, from March through May. Here you and your group can partake in judged performances each festival weekend, accepting several different instrumental and symphonic groups, as well as marching and jazz bands. Not only will you get a top-notch performance experience among several different bands, but you will also be able to hit the city and see some seriously fun sights afterward, such as Six Flags, The World of Coca Cola, and the Varsity!
  • Statue of Liberty - New York City is absolutely filled to the brim with excellent performance options for marching bands, from the countless performance venues throughout the Broadway city to the epic annual performances, such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. While in this diverse and energetic city you will be able to sightsee some of the most iconic American attractions, eat some of the most delicious foods, and play in some of the most beautiful venues. The Statue of Liberty is an excellent place to start, though if you want something fancier head to Carnegie Hall.
  • Universal Studios STARS Program - The Universal Studios STARS Program is another excellent Disney-style program that allows young musicians to perform, learn, and have tons of fun while doing it. Head to Universal Studios Orlando Resort to take part in several different performing options, such as marching, concert, dance, choir, drumline, and color guard. Hit the stage, the parade route, or a holiday festival! You will even have a chance to get a "Sound Design" workshop afterward or participate in a professionally judged performance/festival. Enjoy the exciting performance from Plaza State or City Walk, or if you’re lucky to be here for the Music USA Festival!
  • Washington D.C. - There are several different opportunities to strut your stuff and play in the nation’s capital, with over nine performance venues throughout the whole city, not to mention all the educational sites to see along the way! Take in the history, education, and musical tips left and right as you choose between several different museums or memorials, some popular playing platforms including the Jefferson Memorial, National Mall, Washington Harbor, Six Flags over America, and the MLK, Jr. Memorial. If you time your visit right, you and your band can perform in the National Independence Day Parade on the 4th of July or the National Cherry Blossom Parade in the spring! (Note the upcoming opportunity to play in the Presidential Inaugural Parade in 2017 as well).
  • Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade - What can be more iconic than marching with your high school band in the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? Well, not much. This performing opportunity is a marching band dream, the opportunity to perform among the top marching bands across the United States, not to mention the Macy’s Great American Marching Band itself. Kick-off the holidays right, as you march down New York’s famous route with more than 3.5 million people viewing life, along with 50 million at home. Be a part of the cast of over 10,000 performers as you take part in the performance of a lifetime!
  • College Band Days - This is a bit of a general suggestion, but several major colleges and universities all across the nation host annual "band days," days in which local high schools can come out, learn a new song and routine, and perform with several other bands on the field! For instance, one of our favorite options personally is the University of Missouri's Mizzou Band Days, an event in which you spend the day practicing with the pros, then hit Faurot Field with hundreds of other students and strut your stuff in front of the massive football-game attending crowd!
  • Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary - Last but not least we have a true once in a lifetime performance opportunity in Hawaii, a chance to play at the 75th Anniversary commemoration at Pearl Harbor. The USS Missouri and EMI Hawaii and Group Travel Network host a massive band performance with students from the U.S. and Japan, a performance in memory of a day that forever changed both countries' history. Pay your respects and play your instruments in this gorgeous setting, a truly memorable performance opportunity your marching band group won’t want to miss out on.

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