Parris Island Marine Band
Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island
Marine Corps Recruit Depot
Parris Island, South Carolina

Parris Island Marine Band
Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island
Marine Corps Recruit Depot
Parris Island, South Carolina


Parris Island Rock Band

U.S. Marines with the Parris Island Marine Band, Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island perform during the...


Morning Colors Ceremony

A U.S. Marine with the Parris Island Marine Band plays a trumpet solo during a colors ceremony at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South...


Veterans Day Concert

The Parris Island Marine Band, with Headquarters and Service Battalion preform a Veterans Day concert at Naval Heritage Park in Beaufort, S.C., Nov....


Marine musicians perform a wide variety of military and civic events such as ceremonies, parades, festivals, public concerts, educational outreach, and professional sporting events. Music support utilizes a variety of ensemble configurations to include wind ensemble, ceremonial band, brass band, jazz combo, popular music group, brass quintet, jazz ensemble, and bugler.

Public & Civic Events

Whether a traditional concert hall, outdoor venue or parade, military band performances must be free and open to the public. Marine Bands may perform at fairs, exhibitions and similar venues with admission fees if the performance is incidental to the primary event and no additional fee is charged to hear the band perform. Additional restrictions may apply. 

Policy and Legal Restrictions
  1. U.S. Military participation does not imply endorsement of the event or the organization hosting the event. The requested information is required to evaluate the event. Please complete all sections.
  2. Armed Forces musical units are organized for ceremonial and traditional purposes and to support recruiting activities. However, they may be authorized to provide certain specified presentations, such as patriotic ceremonies for public programs. Armed Forces musical organizations are not permitted to provide entertainment, background, dinner, dance or other social music at public or private events in competition with the customary or regular employment of local civilian musicians. Limited resources permit only one band and/or choir to perform at an event, and the Military Services reserve the right to cancel support to requesters who have scheduled more than one such military unit.
  3. Department of Defense (DoD) policies require that Armed Forces participation in public events will be provided at no additional cost to the Government, which means un-programmed costs incurred solely because of participation in or support of an unplanned activity. For example, additional costs to the Government include unplanned travel and transportation, meals and lodging for military personnel away from Government mess, civilian per diem, and overtime pay. Unsolicited contributions of money, personal property, or services (e.g., gifts in kind for lodging, meals, transportation) may be accepted for the benefit of military musical units for events that align with the DoD's mission. All costs are binding after a unit, personnel, or exhibit has arrived at an event site, even though weather conditions or other unforeseen circumstances force the event to be cancelled.
  4. Requests should be submitted to the appropriate Military Service not less than 30 days in advance of a scheduled program. Final determination will occur no earlier than 90 days in advance. Please realize that all Armed Forces units have specific military missions and training requirements. Participation in public programs will only be authorized when such support is in the best interests of the DoD and the Military Services and does not interfere with mission or training programs. In all cases, operational commitments must take priority and can cause previously scheduled appearances to be cancelled.
Performance Request Process

Start your request for musical support by choosing the appropriate request form below. Once received, we will determine whether we can support your request. If your request is approved, a representative from the band will reach out to you for coordination. If your request is denied, you/your organization will receive an email explaining why your request is not eligible to receive support.

Military Request Form
Civilian Request Form

The Parris Island Marine Band's primary mission is to provide musical support for recruit graduations and other military ceremonies and events. In addition to playing at approximately 40 recruit graduations each year, the band also performs concerts and parades across the United States. 

Marine Corps Recruit Depot
Parris Island Marine Band
MCRD ERR PO Box 19001
Parris Island, SC 29905-6001

Commercial: (843) 228-2178
DSN: 335-2178

It started in 1775 when a few good men answered the call of their country and the United States Marine Corps was founded. Since then, our tradition has grown and developed. Each successive generation of Marines inherits the tradition and pride the Corps has won through sacrifice, honor, and duty to Corps and country. The Parris Island Marine Band reflects those qualities which are truly and uniquely “Marine”, and has earned the reputation as being one of the premier musical units in the United States military.

On October 28, 1915, the Department of the Navy officially transferred Marine Corps recruit training from Norfolk, VA to Parris Island, SC. Among the first 750 Marines sent to Parris Island were the Depot’s first Bandmaster, Sergeant William Gauer, and the Depot’s first Drum Major, Sergeant Anton Schnichowski, who with a group of Marine musicians, formed the Parris Island Marine Band. Until this time, musicians had been trained by individual bands, so a field music school was established at Parris Island to train buglers who were still being used for calls and signals. Musicians also doubled as marksmanship instructors, close combat instructors, and provided support for various units on the Depot. 

In addition to the constant state of musical readiness for which Marine bands are known, the members never lose sight of the fact that they are, first and foremost, Marines. To live up to this responsibility, the band participates in all required Marine Corps training, consisting of Marine field exercises, physical fitness and combat readiness tests, combat water survival, and annual service rifle qualification. This is to ensure Marine musicians remain prepared to perform their primary mission as basic Marine riflemen. 
“The band was an efficient musical unit,” said Captain Charles Pearson, Parris Island Marine Band Officer from 1964-1967, and 1969-1972. “[The band] is a representation of a spirit, a feeling difficult to define. There is something about a stirring march that often reaches a person’s soul, to the very center of his being. It might be called patriotism, courage, or almost anything,” Pearson continued. “But it’s essentially the spirit that makes people yearn to excel and to do for others. The Parris Island Marine Band is truly a living symbol of ‘Esprit de Corps’.”

Today, the Parris Island Marine Band, with fifty enlisted instrumentalists and one band officer, performs hundreds of commitments each year in every idiom imaginable. The different groups within the band consist of a concert band, marching/ceremonial band, stage band, brass quintet, and jazz combo. The Parris Island Marine Band’s primary mission is to provide musical support for the Recruit Training Regiment as well as events in the Beaufort area. In addition to playing at more than 40 recruit graduations each year, the band also performs numerous concerts and parades all across the United States, to include performances in Minnesota, Kentucky, Florida, New York, Georgia, Massachusetts, and South Carolina. 

The culmination of military pride and efficiency, along with precise musical expertise, has set the United States Marine Field Bands apart from any other military unit. The Parris Island Marine Band is dedicated to upholding and displaying the high standards and traditions established by the United States Marine Corps.

Parris Island Marine Band Leaders

Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island Band

MSgt. Matthew Phagan is a native of Daleville, Alabama. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in September

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Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island Band
Drum Major

GySgt. Timothy Scherer is a native of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in

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