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snare drummer with powder on drumhead


I started this brand as a way to solve the problem for our son Gabriel. His  passion and desire to join a marching band started in 5th grade, and he worked hard to join the high school marching band in the 9th grade. He started off on the bass drum, moved on to the snare drum, and  finished his senior year as a center snare. Every marching band season, starting with band camp, he would come home with bruises and chafed skin from the harness, and aching in his shoulders from the weight. We looked online for a solution, something he could wear to give him padding and protection from the discomfort of the drum.  While my other son, an athlete and football player, had a slew of options for a padded shirt, there was nothing for the band kids who bust their butts just as hard. We even let him try out one of his brother's protective shirts, but padding was in all the wrong places. It really bothered us that every day in the band he would be in pain with no real solution available. 

With the help, testing, and input from Gabriel about my original marching band padded shirt design I improved, and patented the second generation Padded Harness Shirt® design. We are continually working on improving the products we've already created, and looking into other products that will give the musicians the support and protection they deserve.

Gabriel himself is finally able to enjoy his marching band season in college, as well as playing in a drum corps group, and an indoor percussion group with much less pain and discomfort.

Read more below who we are for and why. The musicians, their parents, and band leaders will benefit from our protective specialty apparel. Family, friends, and fans can show their support to the marching bands everywhere by wearing our casual line of clothing apparel and accessories .

I look forward to receiving any product suggestions and ideas from our clients, and our community Members (free to join).

"We band together!"  

- Derek Fess

Founder, March Gear




March Gear is for Musicians

Being part of a marching arts program, whether it is a  marching band-high school or college,  drumlines, kick line, flag team, drum corps, percussion group, color guard…. regardless of level, you belong to a very special group of people. The love of music, teamwork, performing and competing brings you together, you build lifelong friendships while you practice for hours to achieve a cohesive perfection. 
There are so many clothing lines, brands, and protective gear created for the athletes. How many have been created for you? We are here to change that! Search for “padded shirts for marching band” and see who and what you get - March Gear. We want to ease your band life and support your efforts to excel at what you enjoy.
Your dedication to your friends in your group, band, or section is unsurpassed. You practice for hours in the scorching heat of summer, sometimes on the verge of passing out! Then you march through mud and rain, sometimes losing shoes or twisting ankles, all while playing music. You keep going through it all into winter, playing in freezing rain and snow till your fingers are numb.

And yet, the athletes get all the attention, televised games go to a commercial break when your show is on. Many sports fans are not even aware of your performances unless they come to the actual games. Local communities are not aware of Percussion Ensembles, Color Guard, and  Drum Corps shows and competitions unless they know someone who is a member.
That's why we provide you with a variety of different functional merch to represent yourself. March Gear specialty apparel will provide more comfort and allow you to focus on what you love to do.  Wearing and seeing others wearing our branded casual clothing line will help you recognize and connect with fellow marching musicians anywhere.  

That is why our motto is “We band together!
The March Gear padded shirts were created to ease the burden of carrying the instrument on your shoulders and help prevent the skin from chaffing for a more comfortable feel after hours of practice. 
Our Padded Harness Shirt padding is designed to spread the weight out over the shoulders and on the hip area to relieve pressure from your harnesses. The padded Sling Shirt padding is located on the right shoulder and left underarm side for drummers wearing a sling strap harness to distribute the weight of the drum. Shirts are made of dry fit sweat-wicking material to provide more protection from the heat, keeping you cool during band camp practices, parades and performances in the summer, and offer another layer  of clothing for the late fall and winter protecting you from the cold.

Our Padded Compression Shirts and branded merch are now available for purchase right here online!  

for Musicians

March Gear is for Parents

You are a parent of a very dedicated and special child, or maybe a young adult by now. He or she is smart, tough and above all, incredibly dedicated to their peers in their section, and the band or group as a whole with many hours spent in practice. 

The effort is not only in practicing the instrument and perfecting the music in the comfort of their classroom or home. There are countless hours of standing, marching in heat, rain, and snow, often with lack of proper protection from the elements and the physical strain on the body. 

Being here, you show your support and dedication to your child’s commitment and passion. Parents are that invisible pillar that children can lean on when times get tough. You have been there  driving them to and from practices, maybe chaperoning, fundraising, feeding them and worrying about them. 

You want to help and protect your child, but there was always something missing, until now. 

March Gear has created a padded harness shirt that was designed with comfort in mind. Our shirts with built-in padding are the only gear designed to protect your drummer by keeping him or her cool, protect their skin from chafing, and easing the burden of carrying the weight of their instrument.  

We designed 2 types of sweat-wicking padded compression shirts with built-in padding to ease the burden of carrying the drum with a harness or sling strap. Our second generation Padded Harness Shirt was just released and we are working on an improved design for the Padded Sling Shirt. The padding adds a cushion to spread the weight out and protect other areas where the instrument, strap or harness comes in contact with the body for a more comfortable feel and prevents the skin from chaffing.

The shirt will also provide additional protection from the heat, keeping your child cool during band camp practices in the summer and the early football game performances. In the late fall and winter, your child will have the extra layer protecting him/her from cold.

Our Padded Compression Shirts and branded merch are now available for purchase right here online!  

marching band_Sousaphone.jpg
for Parents


To march takes dedication, practice, and sacrifices. Marching band members, drum corps members, percussion ensemble members and their leaders make those sacrifices to create something bigger than themselves. At a time of the "me society" March Gear is born for the WE. When we know someone has our back we are all stronger. We take this journey together with you, adding more comfort to your daily practice and performance, while you are building lifetime bonds and friendships born through your passion.

Shop at March Gear for casual and specialty apparel for marching band members, percussion ensemble musicians, drum corps musicians, kick line, flag team and color guard performers. A percentage of our sales from the specialty shirts with padding for drummers, cymbal gloves for cymbal players, wrist bands, T-shirts and more, will allow us to make donations to individuals, bands, and groups in need. 

We are March Gear - clothing brand for the band. We Band Together!

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