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"The President's Own"


"The President's Own"

United States Marine Band

Colonel Jason K. Fettig, Director
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Concert at Kennedy Center’s REACH Opening Festival

By Gunnery Sgt. Rachel Ghadiali | United States Marine Band | September 5, 2019


This Saturday, Sept. 7, the Marine Band will perform a free concert at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., at 11 a.m. outside on the North Plaza. The free performance is part of the center’s REACH Opening Festival, 16 days celebrating the new expansion of the Center’s campus called the REACH. The program of music honors the legacy of President John F. Kennedy and celebrates the connection between the historic institutions: the U.S. Marine Band and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.


“The entire program was inspired by the Kennedy Center’s influence on arts and culture in the nation’s capital and beyond,” said Director Col. Jason K. Fettig. “Spanning references to those early performances by the band in 1971 and works by founding artists like Leonard Bernstein, to music from several Kennedy Center Honorees from a wide variety of genres, the program will also feature a nod to the National Symphony Orchestra and a tribute to the American President to whom the Center is dedicated.”


The concert will include John Philip Sousa’s march “The Glory of the Yankee Navy,” a clarinet feature tribute to Benny Goodman, John Williams’ Theme from J.F.K., and Bernstein’s “Slava!” and Suite from Mass. The concert will also highlight mezzo-soprano vocalist Gunnery Sgt. Sara Sheffield singing songs by Stephen Sondheim and baritone vocalist Master Gunnery Sgt. Kevin Bennear on a medley of hits by Frank Sinatra.


“The Marine Band has enjoyed a very long history with the premiere arts center in Washington, D.C.,” Fettig continued. “The band participated in several events during the inaugural year of the Kennedy Center, and through the past half century, we have maintained a regular presence there, giving some of the most important performances in our own history. The new REACH Center is such an important part of this next chapter of the Center’s history, and it will be an honor for us to help celebrate this monumental occasion, as well as continue the unique artistic collaboration we have enjoyed with the Kennedy Center through the years. We look forward to taking part in what promises to be a celebration for the ages much like the one in 1971, and the inauguration of another exciting new era for this iconic center for the arts.”


The concert is free and open to the public. For other activities during the REACH Opening Festival, visit the Kennedy Center’s website.


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