How can you say that marching band requires no musical talent or prior preparation at all. Marching band is not football where all you have to do is get to the other side of the field, you have to play the music, and do the drill(marches). Being in marching band means you have gone through band classes in Junior High.
Given there are people who join while in high school for whatever reason. These reasons can vary, I know someone who joined because his friends were in band and he had an interest in battery(drum line), but it is much harder to come in with no prior music experience. If you come in late, for example if you come in you junior or senior years of high school then you can pretty much forget being first chair or section leader. Also if you join late then your choice of instruments are normally limited to battery and pit(xylophones, suspended cymbals, percussion instruments that cannot be marched with). To come in to the marching band late and learn the fingerings is a near impossible task.
To be in a marching band you must be both strong mentally and physically, you have to be able to play the required music which would be quite a challenge if you have had no prior music experience.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day”
I think this quote can be applied to marching band, you don’t learn how to play an instrument of any kind in a day, a month, or even a year. Learning to play an instrument takes a lot of time and hard work. Music is not something like history where you can read it from a book and instantly know how to do it, you need to practice and learn it from another person, a band director. Music is not something you can do alone or quickly, music is something you have to devote a major part of your life to.
In the movie “Drum line” the director says “one band, one sound”
I imagine if you cant play your instrument its not going to be one sound, because if that person has not devoted their time and energy to music then they will not be able to play their instrument to the best of their ability. By joining the band without the proper experience then there is an elevated chance of letting down anywhere from 25-250 people. “one band,one sound”. If one person is unprepared or doesn’t sacrifice as much as everyone else then the entire band pays for it.
In conclusion, joining band late is perfectly okay, I think everyone should be involved in the musical fine arts, but to have no prior experience could cause failure for the entire band. I advise that everyone should join band at a Junior High or lower level so they will be ready and qualified to be in a marching band.