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Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas with the Marine Big Band

By Master Sgt. Kristin duBois | United States Marine Band | December 6, 2017

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Washington, DC -- The Marine Big Band will spread some jazzy holiday cheer with a performance at 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 10 at the Bowie Center for the Performing Arts in Bowie, Md. The concert is free and tickets are not required.

Holiday concerts by the Marine Big Band began in 2013. Each year the John Philip Sousa Band Hall was filled with so many people it was clear the ensemble needed a larger venue. In 2016 the Marine Big Band moved to the plaza at National Harbor in Fort Washington, Md., and this year will move back indoors at the Bowie Center for the Performing Arts with a program that will feature a wide variety of music.

“All of the songs are familiar but the arrangements are different than anything one is going to hear on the radio at this time of year,” said Master Sgt. Alan Prather, the leader of the Marine Big Band. “The selections are a mix of Christmas and holiday favorites arranged in different styles. ‘The Nutcracker Suite,’ arranged by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, is a perfect example of that. These arrangements of those familiar melodies are wonderfully creative and still sound fresh, even though they were written in 1960.” 

Other selections include, “Yo Tannenbaum!,” “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen,” “Silent Night,” “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!,” “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “Joy to the World.”

Master Sgt. Prather said it will be great fun to offer this performance to the Bowie community. “I'm hopeful that families will come and spend the afternoon together with the Marine Big Band and leave feeling the joy of the season. I’d really like to encourage families with children to come to the concert. Kids will recognize the songs and when played by a fun ensemble like this I think this music really comes to life!”

Bowie Center for the Performing Arts is located at 15200 Annapolis Road in Bowie, Md. Free parking is available.

Directions and parking


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