The 10 Best College Marching Bands of All Time

The marching band is a staple of American college life. Across the country, these ensembles are known for their impressive productions and spirited performances. Whether at a football game or during a parade, these bands always put on a show.

Every October, as football season ramps up, fans around the country start to get excited about one of the best parts of fall – college marching band performances! Here are ten of the best college marching bands in America.

1. University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band

The Trojan Marching Band is the spirit and soul of the University of Southern California. Also known as the “Spirit of Troy,” this world-renowned band has performed at Super Bowls, Olympics, and Presidential Inaugurations.

Formed in 1888, the Trojan Marching Band is the oldest marching band in USC history. The Trojan Marching Band is best known for its unique style of low brass playing and its signature Trojan fanfare.

As the official band of USC, the Trojan Marching Band represents the university at a variety of events, both on and off campus. The band has also performed at a number of high-profile events.

As one of the most visible and recognizable bands in the country, the Trojan Marching Band plays an important role in promoting USC’s image and spirit.

2. University of Tennessee Pride of the Southland Band

The University of Tennessee Pride of the Southland Band is one of the most iconic and revered college marching bands in the country. Founded in 1869, the band has a long history of entertaining audiences with its high-energy performances.

Today, the Pride of the Southland Band is best known for its elaborate halftime shows, which feature intricate formations and dazzling pyrotechnics.

With over 350 members, the Pride of the Southland Band is one of the largest college marching bands in the country. And their passion for music and proud tradition is evident in every performance.

3. Purdue University “All-American” Marching Band

Purdue University is home to one of the most iconic marching bands in the country: the “All-American” Marching Band. The band has been a staple of Purdue athletics for over a century, and their performances are always a highlight of any game day.

The band is known for its high-energy routines and intricate formations, and they always bring a sense of excitement to the stadium.

In addition to performing at Purdue football games, the All-American Marching Band has also performed at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Rose Bowl, and the Presidential Inauguration.

They are truly one of the best marching bands in the country, and their performances are always a sight to behold.

4. University of Texas Longhorn Band

The University of Texas Longhorn Band is one of the most iconic college marching bands in the country. Known for their precision and spirit, the Longhorn Band performs at all home football games and represents the university at various events around the world.

The band was founded in 1900 and has been an integral part of UT tradition ever since. Marching to the fight song “The Eyes of Texas,” the Longhorn Band is a source of pride for students, alumni, and fans alike.

From parades to pep rallies, the University of Texas Longhorn Band brings excitement and spirit to every event they perform at.

5. Texas A&M Aggie Band

The Aggie Band is one of the most tradition-rich and unique marching bands in America. A&M’s “Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band” performs at all home football games and some away games, as well as various school and community events throughout the year.

The band uses a traditional marching style called “corps style,” which involves intricate patterns and formations.

As the largest military marching band in the country, the Aggie Band plays a central role in many of Texas A&M’s time-honored traditions.

One of the most cherished traditions is the “Midnight Yell,” a rousing pep rally held the night before every home football game. The Aggie Band leads the crowd in spirited chants and songs, getting everyone riled up for the big game.

6. University of Michigan Marching Band

Another one of America’s best college marching bands hails from the University of Michigan. The University of Michigan Marching Band is one of the most renowned college marching bands in the country.

Every fall, they perform at all home football games, adding to the game day experience for fans and supporting the team on the field.

The band also travels to some away games, providing a taste of home for Michigan fans who made the trip. In addition to their performances at football games, the band also holds several concerts each year and participates in a number of community outreach events.

As a result of their dedication to their craft, the University of Michigan Marching Band has built a reputation in the music world as one of the best marching bands around.

7. Ohio State University Marching Band

The Ohio State University Marching Band is one of the most iconic and beloved college marching bands in the country. Also known as “The Best Damn Band in the Land,” the OSU Marching Band has been delighting audiences with its visuals and sound for over a century.

The band is best known for its “Script Ohio” formation, which was first performed in 1936 and has become a signature of the band.

The Ohio State University Marching Band performs at all home football games and also travels to bowl games and other events.

Many members of the band go on to successful careers in music and other fields. The Ohio State University Marching Band is a truly world-class organization, and its passion for music and performance is evident in everything they do.

8. Ohio University Marching 110

You might not expect to find one of the best college marching bands in the country in a small town in Ohio, but that’s exactly where you’ll find the Ohio University Marching 110.

This band has been wowing audiences with its high-energy performances and unique style for over a century. Every year, thousands of fans flock to Athens, Ohio to watch the Marching 110 perform at home football games. 

The Ohio University Marching 110 is one of the most iconic college marching bands in the country. Founded in 1892, the Marching 110 has performed at countless sporting events and bowls games.

The band is also well-known for its unique style, which blends elements of jazz, rock, and country music. As a result, the Marching 110 has become a source of school pride for Ohio University students and alumni.

9. Penn State Blue Band

Known for their precision and athleticism, the Penn State Blue Band is one of the most respected college marching bands in the country.

The Blue Band has been a Penn State tradition for over a century, and their performances are an integral part of game days at Beaver Stadium.

In addition to playing at football games, the Blue Band also performs at a variety of other events throughout the year. These include concerts, pep rallies, and community outreach events.

The Penn State Blue Band is one of the most diversified college marching bands in the country, and it’s a real treasure.

10. University of Iowa Hawkeye Marching Band

The colors black and gold are synonymous with the University of Iowa, and the school’s marching band is a big part of that. The University of Iowa Hawkeye Marching Band is one of the most exciting and spirited groups on campus.

Comprised of over 300 students, the band performs at all home football games, as well as selected away games and bowl appearances.

The band is known for its catchy tunes, tight formations, and school spirit. One of the highlights of being a member of the band is getting to perform in front of thousands of fans at Kinnick Stadium.

The band also frequently travels to other parts of the country to perform at parades and other events. As a result, students in the band have the opportunity to experience different cultures and traditions while representing their school.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re a fan of college football or not, there’s no denying that marching bands are an integral part of the game-day experience. From their intricate formations to their rousing renditions of fight songs, these ensembles add excitement and pageantry to any sporting event.

This list of the 10 best college marching bands of all time is sure to get you fired up for some gridiron action. If you’re looking for a little pre-game entertainment, be sure to check out these incredible college marching bands!