An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


Sign up for the Marine Band newsletter HERE.

Photo Information

Graphic for Marine Band's 2024 Young People's concert: Meet the Band.

Photo by Isaac Mei

Children and Families to Meet the Band at Young People’s Concert

31 Jan 2024 | Staff Sgt. Isaac Mei United States Marine Band

On Sunday, February 11, Lt. Col. Ryan Nowlin and the Marine Band will help kids and families discover all of the concert band’s instruments, their families within the ensemble, and all the fun and beautiful sounds they make in this year’s Young People’s Concert: Meet the Band. This lively performance, which is catered to children and families but open and entertaining for all, will take place at 3 p.m. at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center located on Northern Virginia Community College’s Alexandria Campus. Admission is free and free parking is available in the adjacent garage.

“The whole goal of this special concert is to help kids recognize individual instrument sounds and how those sounds are used in the band,” Nowlin said. Throughout the interactive, family-friendly program, Nowlin, a former music educator, will lead the audience on an exploratory journey to discover all the incredible musical colors made by the concert band. During the performance, the band will demonstrate the difference in the instrumental families – from woodwinds to brass to percussion – and analyze each of the individual instruments through such musical examples as Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee,” John Williams’ music from Star Wars, and John Philip Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” Children will soon learn why a brass mouthpiece makes a funny buzzing sound and why an oboe double reed makes a crow-like sound when played alone.

During the second half of the program, Nowlin will bring all the instruments together and demonstrate how composers collect all the unique sounds of the band to make beautiful music. Like how artists use a combination of colors to create a painting, composers use the unique colors of music made by the different instruments to craft a musical masterpiece.

Before the concert begins, children can enjoy a story time featuring Wynton Marsalis' "Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!" and other books about bands. Following the concert, children will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the instruments they learned about. Marine Band musicians will host an instrument “petting zoo” in the lobby and allow kids to try many of the instruments for themselves.