Day + Time

Tuesdays, 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm

Try to arrive 10-20 minutes early so you have time to set up and warm up. If you’re late (we know it happens), please assemble your instrument and enter quietly.


The concert band rehearses in the Portola neighborhood of San Francisco. To confirm our rehearsal location and let us know you’re coming, contact us.

What to bring

  • Instrument
  • Pencil with eraser
  • Music folder

What to expect

Each weekly rehearsal is for the concert band unless otherwise announced. Concert music is provided via our Membership Portal. We typically warm up with several scales or other exercises and then rehearse ongoing music with an 10 minute break.

What is the concert band’s annual schedule like?

We have five concerts a year, roughly scheduled in:

  • March
  • May
  • July
  • September
  • December

New members are encouraged to come to one of the first three rehearsal weeks before one of these concerts (starting in January, late March, August, and October, respectively). Again, please contact us for exact dates.


If you like to perform, you’ve picked the best community band in America! The Band gets invited to more events than it can possibly accept. Details like attire, call times, and schedules are released on a per-performance basis for the concert band via the email listserv.

When and where do the Marching and Pep Bands rehearse?

Members of the Marching & Pep Bands perform two types of gigs: (1) marching in parades and (2) standing (non-moving) indoor or outdoor events. Music is usually interchangeable between the groups. There are two types of rehearsals: (1) outdoor Marching Rehearsals where the focus is on parade simulation and (2) indoor combined Pep/Marching Rehearsals where we practice performance music. 

In order to participate in the Marching and Pep Bands, you must attend at least two marching rehearsals and pep/marching music rehearsals. We also have occasional “marching fundamentals” rehearsals, so if you’ve never marched or feel rusty, attending one of those will (re)introduce you to basic marching techniques like playing while moving, turning, and responding to whistle commands.

Marching Rehearsals

Day + Time

Held several times per year, typically at 10am-12pm or 12pm-2pm on a Sunday 2-3 weeks before a parade. Rehearsals are weather-dependent.


Outdoor marching rehearsals are typically held on the City College of San Francisco campus up the hill from Balboa Park Station. To confirm our rehearsal location and let us know you’re coming, contact us.

What to Bring

  • Instrument
  • Pencil with eraser
  • Flip folder for marching music
  • Lyre
  • Rubber bands/clothespins to keep music from flying away
  • Water

Pep/Marching Rehearsals

Day + Time

Sit-down Marching/Pep Band rehearsals occur in the evening on the third Thursday from February through October, with some additional occasional Tuesdays (once per quarter).


Combined pep/marching music rehearsals change from month-to-month throughout the City based on venue availability. To confirm our rehearsal location and let us know you’re coming, contact us.

What to Bring

  • Instrument
  • Pencil with eraser
  • Folding music stand

New marching and pep band music is typically provided at rehearsals or ahead of time via our Membership Portal. You may occasionally need to trim down a part to fit in your flip folder. It is your responsibility to make sure you have copies of all the applicable music before a gig.

If you would like to march with the Band, a good time to join is late winter in order to be at marching rehearsals scheduled in the early spring, but we welcome members all throughout the year!

How do I participate in the Marching Band?

The Marching Band is great fun, and the most visible aspect of the Band. We perform in front of television cameras and millions of people each year in such high-profile parades as Chinese New Year and San Francisco LGBTQ Pride. We have also made out-of-town trips to cities such Reno, Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, San Diego, Guernville, and Fresno for their celebrations. Marching is a great way to show your Pride.

Details like attire, call times, and schedules are released on a per-performance basis for the marching and pep bands via the email listserv. 

Marching Music

Marching music includes three pieces we are known for — “California”,”If My Friends Could See Me Now” and “San Francisco.” These are collectively known as “The Big 3.” We also usually include a traditional march and one or two extra “pop” tunes for the marching season. There is no need to memorize these, but we will rehearse them during both a “sit-down” music rehearsal and while marching.

Marching Uniforms

Our uniforms consist of black tuxedos, a hat and rainbow plume, a red citation braid, and an overlay. Overlays are handed out the day of the event, and are collected immediately after the event. You need to provide black shoes comfortable for marching, black socks, and a black T-shirt or undershirt for underneath the tuxedo. More uniform information can be found on the Uniform Page of the Band Handbook, or contact the Uniform Coordinator at a rehearsal.

What about band dues?

Dues are $75 per calendar quarter; members who participate only in marching/pep events pay $75 for one year. Your first quarter is complimentary — no fee. Membership dues help the band pay for uniforms, rehearsal and storage space, instruments, music, publicity for events, and various other costs involved with running a non-profit musical organization. If finances are a barrier, we offer waivers and discounts.

How will the band communicate with me?

The band’s key communication channels include:


Each rehearsal, our main announcement time is just before break. Please hold down any talking while this takes place. If you wish to make an announcement, walk to the front of the room and wait in line. Announcements should be items relevant to the Band (we do take a pretty broad view of what that means) and kept fairly short (under one minute).

Membership Portal

Once you register for your first set, you’ll have access to our Membership Portal which is a one-stop shop for accessing sheet music, announcements, events calendar, key contact information, and more!

Band Listserv

Once you register for your first set, our membership team will add you to the Band Member Google Group which functions as an email listserv. We use it for both general announcements as well as critical day-of communication.