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"The President's Own"

United States Marine Band

Colonel Jason K. Fettig, Director
Unit News
Join us in Song at Wolf Trap’s Holiday Sing-A-Long

By Staff Sgt. Chase Baran | United States Marine Band | December 5, 2019

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Year-end festivities are in full swing, meaning thousands of Washington, D.C., area families will bundle up to join the United States Marine Band for a beloved musical tradition – the Wolf Trap Holiday Sing-A-Long. This year’s event will take place on Dec. 7 at 4 p.m.

Started in 1968, the event originally consisted of local choirs invited to Wolf Trap founder Catherine Filene Shouse’s farmhouse to sing carols and share in holiday cheer. The following year it grew to include “The President’s Own,” which provided a 45-piece brass ensemble to support the choristers.

By 1972, the concert took its current form; an audience gathered under the newly completed canopy of the Filene Center, and the full Marine Band debuted carol arrangements by then chief arranger Tom Knox. Most of the songs from this concert are still used in the current program.

Today, the band continues to provide the music for traditional holiday carols while the audience and a dozen-or-so local school, church, and community choirs fill the air with song.

On the program are a variety of holiday songs, including Joy to the World, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Feliz Navidad, Hanukkah Dance, Frosty the Snowman and more.

There is even a jingle competition in which guests are invited to bring bells to “Jingle-A-Long” for the performance of “Jingle Bells.” It’s up to the director to decide which side of the house is loudest, so you’ll have to ring your bells hard and jingle until you’re jangled out!

The event is free and tickets are not required. Wolf Trap’s Annual Holiday Sing-A-Long will take place at 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna, Va. Gates to the Filene Center will open at 3 p.m., and free parking is available. The Metro shuttle bus will not run for this event. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early.

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