The marching band provides the music for all Parades held at the Academy. They also perform at the Academy Open Day and on other occasions as requested. The marching band rehearses weekly during scheduled drill practice and currently has over 60 members. Instruments in the band include wind and brass instruments in addition to a number of bagpipes, drums and a glockenspiel.
These bands are more informal than the marching band and rehearsal times will vary depending on the timetables of members. These bands select the types of music they wish to play. They perform at Academy Mess social functions and balls throughout the year. Other opportunities to perform include Livestock, Jazz and Review, Service Dining-In-Nights and Open Day.
Each year ADFA Midshipmen and Officer Cadets (cadets) select, direct and perform a musical production. The bands for these musicals are made up of the ADFA body and are selected each year. The 2006 production was Guys and Dolls. The Pirates of Penzance and The Boyfriend were performed in 2004 and 2005 respectively. The instruments required will vary each year depending on the musical selected. Productions are an opportunity for cadets to perform to an outside audience including senior members of the Australian defence Force and the Canberra community.
There are currently a number of informal rock and pop bands, a string quartet and various instrument ensembles. In addition to the regular bands, cadets are encouraged to form their own bands and ensembles. These can be formed spontaneously or with the assistance of the Band Master and Band Coordinator.
Cadets who join a band may borrow instruments and have the opportunity for music lessons. These lessons are mainly for bagpipes and drums. However, if additional instruments are needed to fill positions in the marching band, appropriate lessons may be arranged. There is an ADFA Band room that contains a drum kit, sound system, keyboard and other equipment that can be used by all cadets wishing to rehearse, with permission of the Band Master.