College and high school performing arts educators, industry partners, educational and trade organizations and Drum Corps International have come together in an unprecedented way to celebrate marching music, music-making and the performing arts, and the life-enriching qualities provided through participation in these vital, dynamic and immersive activities.

Set against a rollout date of #March4th, “National Marching Music Day,” the #BeBandReady and #KeepPlaying campaign, presented by Ultimate Drill Book, is designed to stimulate and reawaken participation in marching music and the performing arts, as high schools and institutions of higher learning from coast to coast diligently work through what everyone hopes will be the end of the restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the safe return to rehearsal rooms, performance fields and stages this summer and fall.

Be Band Ready and Keep Playing is an engaging 10-week, participatory and fun campaign designed to get students thinking about and preparing for their participation in music-making activities prior to the start of the coming summer, with the desired outcome of building momentum and rekindling interest and participation in performing arts ensembles prior to the traditional marching band season this summer and fall.

“It’s no secret that over the past year, students have missed out on many activities due to restrictions put in place to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” said steering committee member Dr. Eric Wiltshire, Director of Athletic Bands, University of Oregon. “The musical athletes of bands, color guards and percussion ensembles are no exception to the millions of young people around the world who have had to seek alternative methods of refining their craft, developing their skills and stoking their passions while learning and performing.”

Cultural strategist and steering committee member Tyson Wooters added, “Through the #BeBandReady and #KeepPlaying project, our goal is to get performing arts students back into the swing of things through a series of fun and interactive activities aimed at building momentum towards band camp and a fall season sharing the activities they love.”

“Drum Corps International is very pleased to be joining forces with outstanding music and performing arts educators and industry partners across the country to help build momentum toward a return to exciting summer events and a fall season,” said Dan Acheson, DCI CEO. “Although safety is the primary concern in every aspect of becoming “Band Ready,” we’re all in agreement that building enthusiasm toward the path back to the performance stage is an essential part of the success of tens of thousands of students and those who instruct them.”

Schools and organizations wishing to take part in the #BeBandReady and #KeepPlaying project will have access to social media graphics, educational materials, and additional resources designed with the intent of inspiring students and building excitement for what will undoubtedly be a joyous return to campus life. Presenting partners Ultimate Drill Book will be assisting with the coordination and creation of a wide variety of engaging program information.

Bands and organizations wishing to join the growing list of participating groups committed to supporting the #BeBandReady and #KeepPlaying campaign—and a successful 2021 marching band season—can sign up by visiting

Project Steering Committee

Cal Poly Mustang Band – Len Kawamoto
McKendree University Marching Bearcat Band – Dr. John Franklin
Oregon Athletic Bands – Dr. Eric Wiltshire
Stanford Band – Dr. Russ Gavin
University of Dayton Pride of Dayton Marching Band – Ken Will
Leaders Creating Leaders – Tyson Wooters
Drum Corps International – John DeNovi, Bob Jacobs

Supporting Organizations (As of March 3, 2021)

Band Shoppe
Bands of America
Bands of Ireland
Belfast Tattoo
Big Note Music & Mobile Instrument Repair
Calgary Round-Up Band
Calgary Stampede Showband
Calgary Stetson Showband
Cavalcade of Bands
Celtic Horizon Tours
D’Addario & Company, Inc.
DCI INpact Band
DeMoulin & Bros.
Digital Performance Gear
The Drum Corps Coffee Shop
Drum Corps International
Drum Corps New Zealand
Drum Corps United Kingdom (DCUK)
Drum Corps World
DrumLine Battle
Drumline Network, Inc.
DSI - Directors Showcase International
DSM Sports Marketing, Inc.
FJM, Inc.
FMBC – The Florida Marching Band Championship
Fruhauf Uniforms
Global Band Room
GPG Music
Hal Leonard
Halftime Magazine
Indonesia Drum Corps Association
Indonesia Drum Corps Championship
Innovative Percussion
International Marching Arts News Group
Irish Marching Band Association (IMBA)
Janina Gavankar
JC Media Group LLC
Jolesch Enterprises
Kaleidoscope Adventures
Leaders Creating Leaders, LLC
Marching In Okayama Festival
Marching Roundtable
Motif Music
Music For All
Pageantry Innovations
Pearl Corporation
SoundSport International Music & Food Festival
Stanbury Uniforms
The Art Department Partners, LLC
Tournament of Bands
Ultimate Drill Book
US Marine Drum & Bugle Corps
Vic Firth