Unit HomeNews
"The President's Own"


"The President's Own"

United States Marine Band

Colonel Jason K. Fettig, Director
Unit News
Summer Concerts Feature Sousa, Gershwin and Williams

By Gunnery Sgt. Brian Rust | United States Marine Band | July 23, 2019


The Marine Band’s outdoor summer concerts on the west steps of the U.S. Capitol continue this week featuring popular works by John Philip Sousa, George Gershwin and John Williams, among several others. The evening performances are the perfect outing for families and people of all ages to listen to great music in the shadow of the nation’s Capitol, with the National Mall as a backdrop. Conducted by Marine Band Director Col. Jason K. Fettig, the concerts will take place at 8 p.m., Wednesday, July 24 and Thursday, July 25. Both performances are free and no tickets are required.

In traditional Marine Band style, Col. Fettig will kick off the concert with a march, specifically Sousa’s “Comrades of the Legion.” Sousa composed the march in honor of the American Legion and featured the tune on the Sousa Band’s 1920 tour during which the piece achieved immediate popularity.

Next, the band will play the première performance for concert band of Peter Boyer’s Silver Fanfare, transcribed by the band’s Chief Arranger Master Gunnery Sgt. Donald Patterson, followed by Edward Gregson’s Allegro deciso from Tuba Concerto, featuring soloist Staff Sgt. Landres Bryant.

Following the tuba concerto, clarinetist Staff Sgt. Lucia Disano will take the podium to conduct the next two songs. Disano’s conducting is the culmination of the band’s Conductor Training Program, which gives Marine Band members the opportunity to study conducting, receive coaching from current and former Marine Band Directors and leaders in the field, and ultimately lead the band in concert.

“I’m thrilled to have another opportunity to conduct the Marine Band on the steps of our nation’s capitol,” Disano said. “Every chance I’ve had to conduct the Marine Band has been an extraordinary learning experience for me, and I’m so grateful again and again for the generous musicianship of my talented colleagues.

Disano will first conduct Danzón No. 2 by Mexican composer Arturo Márquez. Regarding the piece, Disano said: “I was looking for a piece that would present an interesting artistic challenge for me, and this piece fit the bill perfectly. I was also struck by the inspiring artistic journey the Danzón has made. Originally a Cuban dance form, the Danzón traveled to Mexico where it was popularized by dance halls in Veracruz and Mexico City.”

Disano will also conduct George Gershwin’s ever popular song “I Got Rhythm” featuring mezzo-soprano Gunnery Sgt. Sara Sheffield. “Gershwin’s music played a huge part in my artistic development,” Disano said. “As a young clarinetist I listened to his Rhapsody in Blue more times than I could count. This particular song set adds another layer of nostalgia for me, as we recently performed it on tour in Japan.”

The concert will conclude in grand fashion with John Williams’ immortal and popular work “Adventures on Earth” from the film “E.T. (the Extra-Terrestrial),” complete with its majestic melody and climactic finish by one of the most well-known composers of the modern era.

The concerts are free but are 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 and on the Marine Band’s website and social media pages.

Complete program and notes

Unit News Search