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"The President's Own"


"The President's Own"

United States Marine Band

Colonel Jason K. Fettig, Director
Unit News
Chamber Music Series Begins this Sunday

By Master Sgt. Kristin duBois | United States Marine Band | October 4, 2018


The Marine Band’s Fall Chamber Music Series will start with a bang on Sunday, Oct. 7 at the John Philip Sousa Band Hall in Washington, D.C. Coordinated by percussionist Master Sgt. Glenn Paulson, the program will be an eclectic mix of percussion, strings, and folk music. The performance will take place at 2 p.m., EDT and will be live streamed here


Paulson’s main focus was to integrate percussion and strings as much as he could. With that end in mind, he selected Tom Nazziola’s Over the Horizon for violin, viola, cello, bass, marimba, and percussion and Ernest Gold’s “Exodus,” as performed by Ray Barretto, for tenor saxophone, violin, bass, piano, percussion, and congas. “Over the Horizon is a great piece and our Marine Latin Ensemble is fairly new and so far we’ve only been able to perform one week each summer,” Paulson said. “I’m excited that we are able to reappear for the chamber series.” Barretto’s version of “Exodus” begins with a simple melody in the violin pitted against a seemingly unrelated groove in the conga. The rhythmic confusion could be seen as reminiscent of the uncertainty felt by immigrants in a new land. As the rest of the instruments join in and the groove becomes apparent, the audience hears how rhythmically rooted the melody actually is. As in most of Barretto’s music, the groove takes on a life and momentum of its own.


Paulson is also a big fan of music by Béla Bartók and wasted no time selecting String Quartet No. 4 and its Hungarian folk tunes. “I love working with string players,” he said. “They are fabulous musicians, great people, and make coordinating a concert very seamless and easy.”


The program also highlights works by himself and a fellow Marine Band percussionist Gunnery Sgt. Jonathan Bisesi. Inspired by the Marine Band’s Latin Ensemble, Paulson composed a piece for marimba, vibraphone, and congas and titled it Guaguanco, which is a Cuban variation on the rumba dance form. Bisesi’s Go, which will receive its world première, was scored for vibraphone and drum set, and other such instruments such as brake drums, woodblocks, and cowbells. “The inspiration for this work is the growing trend in the percussion composition field of reimagining rock, funk, and hip hop music and orchestrating these moods and sounds on instruments in the percussion family,” Bisesi said.


The John Philip Sousa Band Hall is located in the Marine Barracks Annex at 7th & K Streets in southeast Washington, D.C. Free parking is available in the lot under the overpass. It is also accessible by Metro via the Navy Yard or Eastern Market stations. Patrons should arrive early to allow extra time for ID checks at the gate.


Complete program and program notes

Directions and Parking Information

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