Marine Band (and other service band) Careers

Today’s question comes from Isaac: “I have always planned on enlisting into the Marine Corps, but recently I’ve been taking lessons, and I am confident that with some work, I may be able to play professionally as a Marine Musician.

Would you consider this a good option for someone interested in performance?”

My answer? ABSOLUTELY. I have many friends who are in service bands, and they have excellent careers, playing opportunities, advancement opportunities, and more! Totally support this decision.

And, to boot, if you get in, you’re immediately appointed as Staff Sergeant (E-6). Not bad!

Here’s the blurb from the Marine Band website:

Musicians of “The President’s Own” are chosen at auditions like those of major symphony orchestras. Prospective members audition behind a screen to ensure anonymity and are selected for a final interview, by an audition committee from “The President’s Own,” based upon their performance.

Following selection and successful completion of a physical examination, musicians enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps under a four-year contract "for duty with the U.S. Marine Band only," guaranteeing exclusive assignment to "The President's Own." Members do not undergo recruit training but report directly to Marine Barracks Washington in Washington, D.C., to begin their duties. On-site training in necessary military subjects is provided in a structured program to help new members transition from civilian to active duty military life. Upon enlistment, members are immediately appointed to the rank of Staff Sergeant (E-6), which allows the band to offer salaries commensurate with comparable civilian organizations.

Musicians within “The President’s Own” perform as a part of the Marine Band, Marine Chamber Orchestra, and Marine Chamber Ensembles at the White House, in the Washington, D.C., area, and across the nation during the band’s annual concert tour.

Check for vacancies in these (and many other) jobs at the fantastic Musical Chairs website