Mighty Marching Chargers

There are often many questions about the instrumentation of our marching band.  Every student enrolled in a band class is offered a position in the marching band.  Students not enrolled in a band class may audition for the color guard as a way to participate in the marching band.

If you do not play one of the instruments listed below but play a concert instrument (ex. oboe, bassoon), you might have to perform on a different instrument.  This is because the instruments not listed are either too fragile to move and play, or they might be prone to causing injury on the field based on the type of drill we march.

Winds (woodwinds and brass)
Clarinet (plastic clarinets are best for the outdoor elements)
Bass Clarinet*
Alto Saxophone
Tenor Saxophone*
Baritone Saxophone*
Mellophone* (french horn players)
Marching Baritone* (trombone and euphonium players)
Sousaphone* (tuba players)

Marching Percussion
Bass Drums*

Sideline Percussion (Front Ensemble, also known as the Pit)
Bass Drum*
Aux. Percussion*

Please also note that dance is incorporated as an element of Color Guard.

Percussionists must audition for both the marching section and front ensemble.  Clinics are given during late May/early June for students who wish to audition for the MMC percussion section.  We will announce clinic times and final placements on our band calendar and website respectively.

The Color Guard is a visual element to the marching band.  Members of the Color Guard learn how to use various forms of equipment as well as incorporate dance into the choreography they learn.  Color Guard is an exciting way to participate in the MMC.  You do not have to be enrolled in a performing arts class at CHS to be in the Color Guard.  However, many of our students in the Color Guard happen to be in a performing arts class.  Over the years we have had non-music students, Orchestra students, Choral students, Drama students, all from different backgrounds from beginner to advanced.  Students interested in joining the Color Guard should complete the Charger Guard Interest Form


At Chantilly High School, we do not “march” French Horns or Trombones in the MMC.  There are many reasons, including potential instrument damage and the type of drill we march.  Both instruments have marching counterparts; the Mellophone and Marching Baritone respectively.  These instruments produce a similar sound to their concert counterparts but work better with the marching idiom.  That being said, there is a bit of a learning curve for these instruments.  You do not need any experience playing a marching instrument to play these instruments in the marching band.  We will provide a mouthpiece, fingering chart and will be able to give a lot of advice.  You’ll be shocked at how quickly you learn to play the mellophone or baritone!

INSTRUMENTS NOT LISTED (oboe, bassoon, etc)
If your instrument is not listed, you may still participate in the MMC.  You may choose to learn a new brass or woodwind instrument or you may learn how to play a percussion instrument in the front ensemble or marching percussion section (percussion clinic attendance required).  We have had double reed players choose to march a multitude of instruments with great success.  Learning a new instrument for marching band can help broaden your musicianship and be applied directly to your primary instrument as well!

Guitar, bass guitar and piano students in our jazz ensembles are encouraged to participate in the marching band as a co-requisite for Workshop Jazz and Chantilly Jazz.  While it is possible for some to perform on their primary instrument (guitar/bass/piano), these spaces are limited and others will need to speak to the directors to determine if switching to another instrument would be a good option for them.  It is a long standing tradition that rhythm section students perform with the marching band and has been a successful endeavor.  Learning a new instrument broadens your musicianship and can be directly applied to your primary instrument.