Metallica Makes Marching Band Cool Again With ‘For Whom The Band Tolls’ Competition

Metallica Band Contest

First, it was Lizzo inspiring kids to take up the flute. Now, Metallica is jumping on the bandwagon making marching band cool again – or at least very heavy.

Once the domain of “band nerds”  – and with music programs often the first target of budget cuts – Metallica aims to elevate high school and college marching bands by challenging them to craft their most exciting, unique and impressive performances of some of the band’s most beloved songs. 

Announced on the eve of the release of its 12th album, 72 Seasons, Metallica invites bands to clean out those spit valves, stock up on reeds and polish up their marching shoes to compete for a share of $150,000 worth of  instruments and equipment by meeting the challenge to craft their most exciting, unique, and impressive performances of some of the band’s most beloved songs. 

Musicians and band directors will have access to a library of marching band charts, provided by Hal Leonard via Sheet Music Direct, and can enter the competition at a Metallica Marching Band Competition website created for the occasion.  

The sheet music library includes charts  Metallica favorites “Creeping Death,”

“Enter Sandman,” “Fade To Black,” “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” “Fuel,” “Hit The Lights,” “Lux Æterna,” “Master of Puppets,” “One,” “Sad But True,” “Seek & Destroy,” “The Unforgiven,” and “Wherever I May Roam.”

Bands will compete in the five categories for as much as $75,000 in prizing, including $10,000 each for fan-voted collegiate and high school favorite bands. 

Collegiate (Div. 1 & 2)  and High School category winners will be narrowed down to five finalists by professional judges. Metallica will select the final prize winners in each category. Fan Favorite winners will be chosen by popular vote. 

The victors in each category will win musical instruments and equipment for their school programs at the values listed above, furnished by Metallica and sponsors including Tama, KHS America, Zildjian, D’Addario, and Gator, in partnership with Sweetwater.

Video submissions for the Metallica Marching Band Competition are due by Nov. 16, with voting beginning on Nov. 17. Winners will be selected on Dec. 1.