Want to add flair and sound to your event?
Contact us with your performance opportunities and book our marching band and color guard now through the Fall
Who we are
We are a loud and proud marching band with a spirited drumline and glittering color guard that has been marching in Seattle since 1998 to represent LGBTQIA+ musicians in outdoor events all summer. We're a highly inclusive ensemble and judge our excellence by the joy we create and the family of musicians we gather. We have fun together while focusing on honing our performance to thrill our audiences. Wherever we go, we have a great time!
The marching band is our most inclusive ensemble, welcoming any woodwind, brass, percussion, or string player that can pick up an instrument to join us. We welcome those of all identities and skill levels. We also welcome those of all ages and abilities including those requiring a wheelchair. We're proud to wlecome anyone who can don our uniform and add to our sound!
What we do
Together with the Rainbow City Color Guard and Rainbow City Drumline, we perform in parades and festivals in the Pacific Northwest, bringing the joy of music, the energy and excitement of a classic marching band with the fun and flair that represents our diverse membership.
Each year, we perform proudly in the Seattle Pride Parade, which we formed to support in 1998. We march in other parades of all kinds and perform standing concerts at local community events. While our focus is supporting pride festivals, we perform in events of all kinds to support communities in need of visibility and support. We also have performed in weddings, corporate, charitable, and sporting events to support funding our operation. Our members work hard and we appreciate opportunities to show their colors with performances spread through the season.
How we are different
We are not your standard marching band! We expand the sense of who is welcome in a marching band and allow everyone to play that can find a way to attach their music and march proudly with us. In addition to the usual woodwinds, brass, and drums, we also welcome strings to join our band! We focus the music we choose on songs that represent empowerment and represent the LGBTQIA+ community as well as music created by diverse musicians.
The band is backed by Rainbow City Performing Arts, performing instrumental music in Seattle since 1998. Through collaboration and shared resources, we are building a strong lasting legacy in Seattle with a welcome place for those who want to join our mission. All are welcome! Whether you are a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, an ally, differently abled, or still building musical skills, we are committed to securing a space and supporting everyone who is interested in expressing themselves on their instrument.
Common Membership Questions
How do you engage with the community?
The marching band is our most community oriented ensemble, playing for pride festivals and other public outdoor events through the summer. We're proud to bring our might to highlight important events and also play an expanded set of music standing in place.
When and where the rehearsals? How long is the performance season?
Monday evenings from 7 - 9pm in the Wedgwood neighborhood of Seattle with free parking but not close transit access (contact us for carpool assistance). The rehearsal term lasts from mid-April through mid-June with parades and events then lasting into early September. We also have band camp at a location in Seattle on a Saturday in May. Members can work with their section leader to manage needed absences to ensure performance readiness.
What instruments could I play?
Instrumentation is for: Piccolo, Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Viola, Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Baritone Sax, Trumpet, Mellophone, Trombone, Baritone, Cello, Sousaphone, Bass, Bells, Aux. Percussion, Drumline
We have limited loaner instruments available.
What’s the skill level required? Is there an audition or cap on membership?
We welcome members of all skill levels and many of our members joined us after a long break from playing. We have a supportive environment for you to build your skills. There is no audition or limit to the number of members.
When can I join?
Contact us at any time to let us know your interest and we will connect you with the ensemble to join at the next opportunity. Initial season rehearsals are mid April and you can jump in until we reach band camp in May.
How do you distribute music?
All RCPA ensembles distribute all music digitally through cloud links. You can print your own music to your preferred size specifications or load it onto a digital device. We do not always have copies of the music available at the rehearsal. Specific parts are assigned by section leaders equitably to distribute members evenly across parts.
What are the basic requirements of membership?
How can I join?
Fill out our membership inquiry form and we'll get back to you about when and how you can join!
Marching band is where it all began so many years ago. In 1998, Rainbow City Band was founded and debuted at the Seattle Pride Parade, then a neighborhood parade on Seattle's Capitol Hill. Our members had a blast at this and other events during the summer and were thrilled to have a new group of friends among whom they could be themselves and make music - even though many of them hadn't played for decades!
Our membership and ambition grew, and we began to participate in more parades and festivals. We became fixtures at the Fremont Solstice Parade, the Seattle Pride Parade, and the Kirkland Fourth of July Celebration. We explored various summer parades in Renton, West Seattle, Redmond, Greenwood, the International District, and Wallingford. We supported smaller but growing Pride celebrations in Tacoma, the Kitsap Peninsula, Bellingham, and Spokane. And we marched in large, televised parades like the Seafair Torchlight Parade.
Our uniforms have evolved with the band. Starting out with all-black uniforms and a rainbow sash, we moved to a casual look with t-shirts and white slacks. As our visual performance became more important and polished, we dug into our pockets for band-owned uniforms consisting of vests and (honestly not very comfortable) hats. As the time to replace our aging uniforms arrived, a committee of members worked with a uniform supplier to design a snazzy new outfit for us, and after a successful fundraising drive we introduced our latest uniforms in 2016 to increase both marching comfort and our wow factor on the streets.
Come see us at a parade this summer!