Photo Information

On Wednesday, June 6, 2018, Assistant Director Captain Bryan Sherlock conducted the Marine Band on the West Terrace of the U.S. Capitol. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Rachel Ghadiali/released)

Photo by GySgt Rachel Ghadiali

Marine Band Kicks off Summer Concerts on the Mall

5 Jun 2019 | Gunnery Sgt. Rachel Ghadiali United States Marine Band

*June 5 concert canceled due to impending inclement weather

This week “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band will kick off its summer concerts on the National Mall with performances at 8 p.m., Wednesday, June 5, and Thursday, June 6, on the west steps of the U.S. Capitol. The concerts will include music by John Philip Sousa, Amilcare Ponchielli, Henry Fillmore, and a tribute to Bing Crosby.

The program will begin with Fanfare and Allegro by Clifton Williams followed by John Philip Sousa’s march, “Bullets and Bayonets” and Amilcare Ponchelli’s Concerto per Flicorno basso, featuring euphonium soloist Staff Sergeant Hiram Diaz.

“The Fanfare and Allegro is a classic band piece that I thought would be a great way to start out the concert and our summer series,” Sherlock said. “And I always like to program a Sousa march.”

After the euphonium solo, Capt. Sherlock will turn the podium over to trumpet/cornetist Staff Sergeant Christopher Larios as he leads “The President’s Own” as part of the band’s Conductor Training Program. The program gives Marine Band musicians the opportunity to study conducting, receive coaching from current and former Marine Band Directors as well as leaders in the field, and ultimately lead the band in concert.

Larios will conduct Sir Malcolm Arnold’s Four Scottish Dances, Opus 59; Henry Fillmore’s march, “The Klaxon;” and Capt. Ryan J. Nowlin’s arrangement of A Tribute to Bing Crosby, featuring baritone soloist Master Sergeant Kevin Bennear.

“We decided on the Four Scottish Dances because the wide variety in the four movements of the piece would stretch his conducting abilities,” Capt. Sherlock said. “And the Klaxon is a great up-tempo circus march.” 

The Bing Crosby tribute will begin with a big band flavor on “Swinging on a Star” by Jimmy Van Heusen with quirky lyrics by Johnny Burk, continuing with Bennear singing smoothly over the lightning quick “You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby” by Harry Warren with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. Finally, the medley will slow down with Irving Berlin’s “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep” and end with the upbeat and popular “Blue Skies.”

“‘Count Your Blessings’ takes me back to when I was just a kid,” Bennear said. “My family didn’t have much—we honestly spent every day just getting by. Sometimes Mom had to stretch to keep us all fed.” He continued, “We were thankful for every little thing. So this song is a wonderful reminder of what is important, set to a beautiful melody. It truly does make me reflect on that.”

The concert will conclude with Capt. Sherlock conducting Satoshi Yagisawa’s Machu Picchu, a band piece which musically depicts the Incan city of modern-day Peru. As the former Officer in Charge of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific Band in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, Capt. Sherlock had been researching Yagisawa, a premier symphonic band composer of the 21st Century.

“With so much Japanese culture in Hawaii, I spent quite a bit of time researching Japanese music and composers,” Capt. Sherlock said. “I think the audience will love this concert and love this piece; it’s very picturesque.”

The concerts are free but weather permitting, and programming is subject to change. Inclement weather announcements will be made by 6 p.m. on the band’s Concert Information Line at (202) 433-4011. Limited street parking is available. For concerts at the Capitol, patrons may travel via Metro and take the red line to Union Station or the blue, orange, or silver lines to the Capitol South station.

Complete program and notes