The Basic Parts of a Field Performance

There are five basic components in every field performance put together by a marching band. These hold true despite the band’s style or music selection. They are:

1) The Set-Up involves bringing the band on to the field, getting each member in their proper position, getting them ready to perform. This may include a warm-up for the band. It usually includes the drum major calling the band to attention, saluting the audience and starting the show.

2) The Opener is the first piece that starts the performance. It should be appealing and entertaining. The purpose of the opener is to catch the crowd’s attention and convince them to watch the show. The drum major may attempt to add to the overall effect by using struts, presentation moves or twirling a baton or mace.

3) The Feature Section includes pieces played in a concert formation, drum solos, and feature performances by dance teams, flag teams and/or baton twirlers. This is the heart of the show. In cases where the drum major conducts the band, he/she is usually on a drum major’s box or stand placed on the sideline.

4) The Closer is the ending section of the performance where the entire group is working to build the show to an exciting climax that will bring the crowd to its feet.

The drum major may conduct the closer, or add to the group’s overall effect by incorporating him/herself into the marching pattern.

5) After the show is over, the drum major brings the band off the field. This is called the Retreat. This may include a pass and review of the stands where the group salutes the crowd as they march by the stands while leaving the stadium. Usually the drum major is the last person off the field and the last to pass the audience.