The Marine Band performs a varied repertoire including new works for wind ensemble, traditional concert band literature, challenging orchestral transcriptions, and the patriotic marches that made it famous. The band frequently features its members in solo performances that highlight their virtuosity and artistry.
At the White House:
The U.S. Marine Band is the only musical unit that bears the title “The President’s Own” and whose mission is to provide music for the President of the United States and the Commandant of the Marine Corps.
The relationship between the Marine Band and the White House began on New Year’s Day in 1801, when President John Adams invited the Band to perform at the Executive Mansion. Later that year, the Marine Band began a very important tradition by participating in Thomas Jefferson's first Inaugural. The Marine Band has performed for every Presidential Inaugural since.
The Marine Band performs at the White House for:
- Events of national importance such as State Arrivals* and national days of remembrance
- Holiday events such as the National Christmas Tree Lighting, Easter Egg Roll, and Independence Day
- White House activities such as celebrations, receptions, and ceremonies
* A State Arrival is an official ceremony during which the President formally welcomes visiting Heads of State. A 49-piece Marine Band is used, on a rotating basis with the military bands in Washington, D.C., for State Arrivals.
The Marine Band appears in many different types of ceremonies. These include the following:
The Presidential Inauguration
The Marine Band has participated in every Presidential Inaugural since Thomas Jefferson’s in 1801. Inauguration includes a swearing-in ceremony and a parade, as well as other smaller celebrations and festivities throughout the afternoon and evening. The Marine Band is positioned at the Inaugural platform for the President’s swearing-in ceremony at the U.S. Capitol and a 99-piece band marches in the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue. The band also performs at Inaugural Balls following the official ceremony and parade. Celebrations are typically divided by state and held at hotels and in large public spaces throughout Washington, D.C.
A state funeral procession, composed of National Guard, active-duty, academy, and reserve personnel that represent the five branches of the armed forces, is a traditional component of a state funeral observance. Military bands, including a 99-piece Marine Band, provide traditional music during each phase of the state funeral. Funeral processions in the nation's capital along Pennsylvania Avenue have honored eight presidents, most recently former President Ronald Regan.
Full Honors Funerals at Arlington National Cemetery
Each time the United States Marine Corps honors its deceased service men and women in Full Honors Funerals at Arlington National Cemetery, “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band participates in the ceremony.
During the funeral ceremony, the Marine Band will perform chorales and hymns on every occasion that the deceased is transferred or moved. When the escorts and funeral procession move the deceased from a chapel or transfer site to the final resting place, a drum cadence and funeral march are performed. The Marines’ Hymn is performed for the final transfer of the deceased onto the resting site. Following The Marines’ Hymn, the deceased receives final honors and a 21-gun salute, and a lone bugler from the Marine Band performs Taps. At the conclusion of the funeral ceremony, an American flag is folded and presented to the family of the deceased, during which the Marine Band performs the Navy Hymn, "Eternal Father, Strong to Save".
Marine Barracks Washington, Friday Evening Parades
Friday Evening Parades are held at Marine Barracks Washington May through August. This one hour and fifteen minute performance of music and precision marching features "The President's Own" United States Marine Band, "The Commandant's Own" United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, and the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon. The ceremony begins at 8:45 p.m., with a concert by the United States Marine Band.
A 42-piece Marine Band is used for all Pentagon and formal military arrivals and patriotic openers for large events. Patriotic openers consist of 15 minutes of patriotic music, the presentation and retirement of the colors, and performances of the National Anthem and The Marines Hymn. Patriotic openers are performed throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area at a variety of events for military organizations, federal agencies, and associations.
Watch videos of the Marine Band in performance.