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The Best College Marching Bands

Updated August 19, 2019 4.0k votes 494 voters 3.7k views73 items

Forget everything you think you know about college marching bands. Today, the best college marching bands do not simply perform generic halftime shows and make noise during big football plays. The modern football fan gets treated to elaborate halftime performances with highly stylized choreographed routines that sometimes even trump the actual game.

US college marching bands have been around for well over 100 years. The traditional marching band features woodwind, brass, and percussion. Most collegiate marching bands wear coordinating military-style uniforms with the logo/name of their college. Several marching bands also use flags, rifles, or some other kind of prop in their routines. 

Check out some amazing performances by the best collegiate marching bands in the country. Members practice 20 maybe even 30 hours a week, and not only perform at games, but also compete in national competitions. Which are the best college marching bands? Make your voice heard and vote for your favorites.

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  • 1
    Ohio State University Marching is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best College Marching Bands
    161
    167

    Ohio State University Marching Band

    College: The Ohio State University

    Founded: 1878

  • 2
    Sonic Boom of the South is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best College Marching Bands
    78
    106

    Sonic Boom of the South

    College: Jackson State University

    Founded: 1940s

  • 3
    Michigan Marching Band is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best College Marching Bands
    67
    94

    Michigan Marching Band

    College: University of Michigan

    Founded: 1896

  • 4
    University of California March is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best College Marching Bands
    46
    69

    University of California Marching Band

    College: University of California, Berkeley

    Founded: 1891

  • 5
    Blue Band is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best College Marching Bands
    52
    79

    Blue Band

    College: Penn State University

    Founded: 1899

  • 6
    Purdue All-American Marching B is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best College Marching Bands
    51
    85

    Purdue All-American Marching Band

    College: Purdue University

    Founded: 1886

  • 7
    University of Wisconsin Marchi is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best College Marching Bands
    66
    110

    University of Wisconsin Marching Band

    College: University of Wisconsin–Madison

    Founded: 1885

  • 8
    Michigan State University Spar is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best College Marching Bands
    57
    95

    Michigan State University Spartan Marching Band

    College: Michigan State University

    Founded: 1870

  • 9
    Marching Mocs is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best College Marching Bands
    19
    35

    Marching Mocs

    College: University of Tennessee

    Founded: 1886

  • 10
    Hawkeye Marching Band is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best College Marching Bands
    16
    30

    Hawkeye Marching Band

    College: University of Iowa

    Founded: 1881

  • 11
    Spirit of Troy is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best College Marching Bands
    53
    90

    Spirit of Troy

    College: University of Southern California

    Founded: 1918

  • 12
    Pride of Dixie Marching Band is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best College Marching Bands
    6
    16

    Pride of Dixie Marching Band

    College: University of North Alabama

    Founded: 1909

  • 13
    University of Montana Grizzly  is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best College Marching Bands
    10
    22

    University of Montana Grizzly Marching Band

    College: University of Montana

    Founded: Late 1800s

     

  • 14
    The Marching Virginians is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best College Marching Bands
    15
    30

    The Marching Virginians

    College: Virginia Tech

    Founded: 1974

  • 15
    University of Hawaii Marching  is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best College Marching Bands
    5
    14

    University of Hawaii Marching Band

    College: University of Hawaii at Manoa

    Founded: 1923

  • 16
    Paladin Regiment is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best College Marching Bands
    5
    14

    Paladin Regiment

    College: Furman University

    Founded: 1920

     

  • 17
    Gold Star Marching Band is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best College Marching Bands
    5
    14

    Gold Star Marching Band

    College: North Dakota State University

    Founded: 1902

     

  • 18
    Clemson University Tiger Band is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best College Marching Bands
    12
    25

    Clemson University Tiger Band

    College: Clemson University

  • 19
    Mighty Marching Panther Band is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best College Marching Bands
    10
    23

    Mighty Marching Panther Band

    College: Clark Atlanta University

     

     

  • 20
    Brown University Band is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best College Marching Bands
    8
    20

    Brown University Band

    College: Brown University

    Founded: 1970

     

  • 21
    The Marching Tar Heels is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best College Marching Bands
    8
    20

    The Marching Tar Heels

    College: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Founded: 1903

  • 22
    Marching Illini is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best College Marching Bands
    43
    77

    Marching Illini

    College:  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Founded: 1867

     

  • 23
    Cornell Big Red Marching Band is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best College Marching Bands
    5
    16

    Cornell Big Red Marching Band

    College: Cornell University

    Founded: 1890s

  • 24
    Pride of Nicholls is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best College Marching Bands
    5
    16

    Pride of Nicholls

    College: Nicholls State University

    Founded: 1972

  • 25
    Columbia University Marching B is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best College Marching Bands
    5
    16

    Columbia University Marching Band

    College: Columbia University

    Founded: 1904

     

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