Perform Beyond Expectations
The MEOP audition process is highly selective, ensuring our musicians will continue to successfully demonstrate to the world what it means to be a Marine. Instrumentalists will be chosen on the basis of their performance during their audition, and your audition coordinator will guide you through the process:
The first section of the audition is based upon your ability to perform excerpts selected to represent the musical styles common to Marine Corps concert performances. Classical, military marches, jazz, rock and pop are typically represented.
Your audition coordinator will ask you to perform a random sampling of major, natural minor, harmonic minor and melodic minor scales in all 12 keys. These should be performed in one, two and three octaves on your instrument. Rhythm instruments have slightly different stipulations, which your audition coordinator will discuss with you.
If you advance through the first two steps of the audition, your audition coordinator will ask you to participate in the sight-reading section of the process. It's common for our musicians to perform within one day after receiving new music, so your ability to sight read is taken into consideration when selecting applicants.
To learn more about serving your nation and sharing your musical talent with the world, speak with a Marine Recruiter.
Take Your Music Further
Marine musicians perform throughout the continental United States and internationally – from Beijing to Sydney to Paris – serving as musical ambassadors of the United States Marine Corps.
Active Duty Stations: Quantico, VA • Cherry Point, NC • Camp Lejuene, NC • Parris Island, SC • New Orleans, LA • Camp Pendleton, CA • Miramar, CA • San Diego, CA • Kaneohe Bay, HI • Okinawa, Japan
A Lifetime of Rewards
Working as full-time musicians for full-time pay, Marine musicians perform for the President, senators and dignitaries in prestigious venues around the world. They also receive steady promotions and have the opportunity to attend advanced training at military music school or instrument repair school.
To learn more about the enlistment incentives offered exclusively to Marine musicians, request more information and specify your interest in musician opportunities.
A Band of Warriors
To become a Marine musician, you must first, and foremost, become a Marine. Your journey to giving back to your community and country starts with qualifying.
First, you will be required to pass the Initial Strength Test (IST) and audition for MEOP. Once you are qualified for musical enlistment, you will be able to enter the Delayed Entry Program, during which, your recruiter will prepare you for recruit training.
You will then attend 12 weeks of recruit training at either Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island or Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. There you will learn to be as precise with a rifle as you are with an instrument. To earn the title, Marine, you will be required to meet the moral, physical and mental standards of the Corps, and learn the skills necessary to accomplish the mission when your nation calls.
Upon graduation, you will attend the Naval School of Music where you will study before being assigned to one of the active-duty field bands.
Precision, accuracy, endurance and a commitment to mission accomplishment are some of the defining marks of our Corps as well as Marines serving as professional musicians. Could you perform up to the standards?
A Calling Heard Around The World
Members of each Marine Corps musical unit become part of a storied tradition, following in the footsteps of legendary Marine musicians like John Philip Sousa and other talented artists who, for more than 200 years, have called themselves Marines.
If selected, you will have the opportunity to serve with "The Commandant's Own" Marine Drum & Bugle Corps in Washington DC, or with one of the 10 renowned Marine Corps bands throughout the world.
Marine Musicians who demonstrate exceptional leadership qualities will have the opportunity to apply for a diverse selection of leadership roles. Small Ensemble Leaders, Enlisted Conductors, Drum Majors, and Instrument Repair Technicians are all positions filled by band members. Marine Bandsmen can also apply to become Band Officers, who serve as the principal conductor and are ultimately responsible for the quality and morale of the unit.