Massed Bands Best Practices


It is understood that the Massed Bands Parade offers a suitable stage for beginners to perform without major artistic complexity. However, minimum standards must be achieved. SPBASA expects all participating bands to give the proper previous instruction to all beginner members regarding music, drilling, discipline and general expected performing culture.

March + Deportment

Bands participating in a Massed Bands Parade are encouraged to rehearse in advance the basic drilling movements and Drum Major Commands.

    • Stand at Ease

    • Stand at Attention;

    • Forward March

    • File: dress to the front,

    • Rank: dress to the Right/Center/Left, as instructed.

    • Counter-March;

    • Wheel;

    • Stop Marching;

    • Stop Playing.


Band members participating in a Massed Bands Parade are expected to know all SPBASA Standard Sets of Tunes.

    • Tune version

    • Time signature


    • Participating bands should inform the Senior Drum Major of their Head Count for the Parade the day before the Parade takes place.

    • Senior Drum Major to brief Drum Majors before the Massed Bands Parade with enough time for Drum Majors to relay info down to their bands.

    • Number of files and file length should be defined and communicated to bands the day before the Parade takes place (last minute arrangements included in the Senior Drum Major's brief to Drum Majors).

Dress - Uniform

    • Participating bands should ensure all members wear their bands' uniform when performing.

    • See SPBASA’s Dress Code


When on parade, participating members are expected to keep a “Performing/Professional” attitude at all times.


    • Previous Gathering Champion Band and Sub-Champion Band are to fill in the Right File and Left File respectively. (If any of the above bands should not be present at the Massed Bands Parade, previous Gathering 3rd Placed Band should fill in, and so on)

    • Pipe Sergeants of all bands should occupy the last Rank of Pipers. (1st Rank in front of Bass Drummers)

    • 10 minutes before the Parade begins DMs should walk through ranks to ensure all participants are in place and holding rank distance.

    • 10 minutes before the Senior Drum Major commands the Parade to begin, all participants are expected to be “performing”.

    • The Senior Drum Major can implement, according to contextual circumstances, any positioning of participants he believes necessary to ensure the best outcome of the Massed Bands Parade.

September 26th, 2020: Approved