The band marches on

“But kids out of uniform is what I remember most. Lots of sweat and odd tans.” -Walter Pickering

I love this! The majority of my memories from marching band are not in uniform, they are from dusty practice fields and trips and buses and dressing rooms. Pickering brilliantly captures some behind-the-scenes moments of the oddity that is marching band. (That flute handshake–yeah, that’s totally me in high school.)

CNN Photos

The flash of metal, the twirl of color, the synchronization of bodies in rhythm to music.

As a tuba player from junior high through college, photographer Walker Pickering was in step with his marching band and a part of the camaraderie the group developed. As a photographer for the last 10 years, he has trained his camera on high school and college marching bands and traveling drum corps to capture that feeling of togetherness.

Pickering, 33, from Austin, Texas, didn’t take photos of the grand designs the bands would form on the field. Instead, he wanted to show band members in and out of uniform, to look beyond the flourish.

“Contemporary marching units tend to wear highly geometric designs. When I marched in high school, we wore what I lovingly refer to as the Sgt. Pepper-style uniform,” he said. “But kids out of uniform is what I remember most. Lots…

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