Anyone with insight about Band at the SMCs?

We are very early in the process, but my DS who is interested in serving as a military officer also thoroughly enjoys band. He is a percussionist. I was wondering if anyone on here happens to have any experience with a band at an SMC. I imagine it's similar in nature to high school band but another step up in involvement and dedication needed.

And with all that being said, it seems that a few SMCs haver well-known and I wonder if you were choosing your SMC based on the band, which you would choose?
 
VMI has band and pipe band. They are much smaller than TAMU obviosuly. At VMI if your child is in the band, that would actually be their company, I don't really have much experience with band. One of my son's roommates was in the pipe band,. I know they did some traveling for parades that the entire corp did not participate in
 

Harmon

New Member
Norwich is smaller, as stated. However, they are the oldest collegiate band in the country. They’ve been in 7 inaugural parades, and travel to many other prestigious events. Don’t write them off due to size!
 

NotSpecified

New Member
I can answer about the VMI band. It's a separate company like the rest of the corps, but it also functions as a club. It has the regimental band which is mainly the brass, and the pipe band in the Band Company. Both bands have percussions. If your DS is already a percussionist, the regimental band probably will work better. The regimental band director, Colonel Brodie is a really good guy and everyone love him. The pipe band is also good by nature since people like fancy bagpipes and kilts. It's also fun to learn a different culture in the pipe band. There is more information on the VMI website.

However, there are some truths that I think I need to let you know. Many cadets don't like Band Company, both cadets in the band and cadets not in the band. There are various reasons. For example, Band company is different than everyone else since cadets are drawn by musical abilities but not by heights like everyone else; the Band parades with instruments instead of rifles and that's "easy"; the Band rats have lower requirements than other rats during the ratline (a little bit, especially the rifle drill part but not too much); the Band gets on trips to different places that everyone else want to get on; some Band kids are weird (VMI cadets are all weird?) and have some other stories (you will figure out if you actually come here). People hate the pipe band a little less than the regimental band since pipe band sounds better than the regimental band and pipe band is cool. In my opinion, if your goal is to become an Army Ranger or a Marine, probably not Band because people are going to laugh at you and say you are weak, and you will have more time to focus on the military instead of band practice and parades. Otherwise, Band is still a good place to have great opportunities, both learning new things and getting out of VMI and have some fun.

I hope that helps.
 

emwvmi01

5-Year Member
I can answer about the VMI band. It's a separate company like the rest of the corps, but it also functions as a club. It has the regimental band which is mainly the brass, and the pipe band in the Band Company. Both bands have percussions. If your DS is already a percussionist, the regimental band probably will work better. The regimental band director, Colonel Brodie is a really good guy and everyone love him. The pipe band is also good by nature since people like fancy bagpipes and kilts. It's also fun to learn a different culture in the pipe band. There is more information on the VMI website.

However, there are some truths that I think I need to let you know. Many cadets don't like Band Company, both cadets in the band and cadets not in the band. There are various reasons. For example, Band company is different than everyone else since cadets are drawn by musical abilities but not by heights like everyone else; the Band parades with instruments instead of rifles and that's "easy"; the Band rats have lower requirements than other rats during the ratline (a little bit, especially the rifle drill part but not too much); the Band gets on trips to different places that everyone else want to get on; some Band kids are weird (VMI cadets are all weird?) and have some other stories (you will figure out if you actually come here). People hate the pipe band a little less than the regimental band since pipe band sounds better than the regimental band and pipe band is cool. In my opinion, if your goal is to become an Army Ranger or a Marine, probably not Band because people are going to laugh at you and say you are weak, and you will have more time to focus on the military instead of band practice and parades. Otherwise, Band is still a good place to have great opportunities, both learning new things and getting out of VMI and have some fun.

I hope that helps.

Some good if limited insights from a cadet that probably shows some of the attitudes in the Corps at VMI toward Band. I would disagree (and I was a proud C Co cadet) on the premise that you can't be "military" or hard core and in Band Co. I know a former Marine Recon BN Commander who excelled in Band Company as a Cadet and a currently serving Army Ranger who was also in Band Co. I can assure you your VMI company or athletic team has no influence whatsoever on how you will do in the military.
 

NotSpecified

New Member
Some good if limited insights from a cadet that probably shows some of the attitudes in the Corps at VMI toward Band. I would disagree (and I was a proud C Co cadet) on the premise that you can't be "military" or hard core and in Band Co. I know a former Marine Recon BN Commander who excelled in Band Company as a Cadet and a currently serving Army Ranger who was also in Band Co. I can assure you your VMI company or athletic team has no influence whatsoever on how you will do in the military.
Yes sir/ma’am there are some great people from Band. What I am saying is most people are not that good and Band practice do take a couple of hours a week and you could go to the gym, PT, or other stuff you like better. You should always focus on your goal and if Band events become distractions then you probably shouldn’t do it. There are people that enjoy Band and they can manage to work the time out then why not.
 

VMI2017+3

Member
Yes sir/ma’am there are some great people from Band. What I am saying is most people are not that good and Band practice do take a couple of hours a week and you could go to the gym, PT, or other stuff you like better. You should always focus on your goal and if Band events become distractions then you probably shouldn’t do it. There are people that enjoy Band and they can manage to work the time out then why not.
I just frankly think you don’t know what you’re talking about. Band certainly doesn’t have the best rep...no secret there. We *don’t* have a lot of practice time and aren’t as good as I think the Corps expects (since they likely don’t understand the time required to rehearse to a given level). Beyond the rep thing though, and what you said about COL Brodie, I just don’t know what you’re talking about. Band has to do literally all of the same Ratline stuff as anyone else (any non-permits that is, and band has very few of those). The 2 hrs week for practice turning into less time to PT is ridiculous...like seriously? If 2 hours out the 168 hours in a week keeps you from PTing, doing homework, etc, that’s pretty pathetic. Of course if it isn’t worth that 2 hours to you, that’s fine, no harm there, but that’s not a good excuse for not getting stuff done. Plenty of clubs take up that much or more time weekly. Trips are also almost always optional if that’s too much time. You’re certainly entitled to whatever opinion of band company you want, and I take no offense to people roasting “band club,” but a lot of what you said is just not factual.

If anyone has specific questions about current band co at VMI, ask away and I’ll try to provide non-sugar coated, but also factual answers.
 

JAGman

5-Year Member
What I love about the A&M Band/Corps relationship is we might trash talk them within the ranks but you better believe we are going to close ranks around them if anyone else says anything. And definitely aren't going to be saying they are garbage on a forum! They are the Spirit of Aggieland, the Fightin Texas Aggie Band!
 

VMI2017+3

Member
What I love about the A&M Band/Corps relationship is we might trash talk them within the ranks but you better believe we are going to close ranks around them if anyone else says anything. And definitely aren't going to be saying they are garbage on a forum! They are the Spirit of Aggieland, the Fightin Texas Aggie Band!
I think that generally applies to VMI band as well. Honestly, I’ve never run into anyone with that attitude before.
 

conrack

Member
played clarinet in Regimental Band at The Citadel back in the day, that unit has produced about a dozen flag officers and space shuttle/ISS astronaut COL Randy Bresnik. El Cid was the first military school to have a bagpipe band, they have appeared in 3 Presidential Inaugural Parades and next year will make their 4th appearance at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. No question TAMU has the largest and most impressive marching band but of course that's a school with 51,000 students so no comparison with others significantly smaller. If you enjoy halftime shows and football games that's the best option; if you want a smaller school experience in a military environment The Citadel or VMI is the best choice.
 
played clarinet in Regimental Band at The Citadel back in the day, that unit has produced about a dozen flag officers and space shuttle/ISS astronaut COL Randy Bresnik. El Cid was the first military school to have a bagpipe band, they have appeared in 3 Presidential Inaugural Parades and next year will make their 4th appearance at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. No question TAMU has the largest and most impressive marching band but of course that's a school with 51,000 students so no comparison with others significantly smaller. If you enjoy halftime shows and football games that's the best option; if you want a smaller school experience in a military environment The Citadel or VMI is the best choice.
But wasn't Komrad Col Bresnik a 4th Battalion guy sentenced to spend senior year in the Rgt Band?

PIPES OUT FRONT!
 

LTV24

Member
I’m a current cadet at TAMU and can fully vouch for our “World Famous, Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band.” The cadets in band get the band experience AND the cadet experience, they go through the same training and events as us regular cadets. They’re in their own companies, house with strictly band, and have an adjusted schedule for band. I highly recommend you check out our Spend the Night With the Corps (SNWC) Program to get a first-hand look at what we offer as a SMC and University and what your DS could expect in the typical day of a band cadet (if you do this, do it first semester August-December). I hope this helps, good luck!
 
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