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July 10/11 Concert

Photo by Master Sgt. Brian Rust

Marine Band Celebrates 226th Anniversary with Concerts at U.S. Capitol and Marine Corps Museum

9 Jul 2024 | Master Sgt. Brian Rust United States Marine Band

UPDATE: Due to inclement weather, the July 10 concert has been canceled.

Come celebrate the 226th anniversary of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band this week with two outdoor summer concerts! New Assistant Director 1st Lt. Jose Toranzo will make his summer concert season conducting debut leading the Marine Band in a program of music celebrating the band’s birthday. The free outdoor concerts will take place at 7 p.m., Wednesday, July 10 on the west steps of the U.S. Capitol, and 7 p.m., Thursday, July 11 at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Va.

Established by an Act of Congress on July 11, 1798, the United States Marine Band is America’s oldest continuously active professional musical organization.

“As we celebrate the Marine Band’s 226th anniversary this summer, I’ve chosen works that highlight and celebrate this important milestone in our history,” Toranzo said. “It’s a joy to perform on the steps of the Capitol and at the National Museum of the Marine Corps for this special week. I’ve programmed works by both past and present Marine Band Directors, alongside pieces by American composers like Leonard Bernstein and Julie Giroux. The program honors our rich history with music that beautifully captures the spirit of America and its people.”

View Program

The concert will begin with former Marine Band Director William H. Santelmann’s March, “Thomas Jefferson.” Jefferson is credited with giving the Marine Band its title of “The President’s Own,” and his Inauguration was the first Presidential Inauguration to feature the Marine Band and set the precedent in having the band perform at every Inauguration since.

The performance will also include saxophone soloist Master Sgt. Gregory Ridlington performing a selection from Bernstein’s On the Town, and baritone vocalist Master Gunnery Sgt. Kevin Bennear singing “Amazing Grace,” arranged by current Marine Band Director Lt. Col. Ryan Nowlin. And no Marine Band concert would be complete without a march from the band’s 17th Director John Philip Sousa, known as “The March King.” This program will appropriately include Sousa’s “Semper Fidelis,” the official march of the United States Marine Corps.

“This performance holds a special place in my heart as it is my first summer concert with the band,” Toranzo said. “Reflecting on the band’s long and rich history that dates to 1798, I am reminded of the unifying power of music, made even more special with our 226th anniversary.”

Concert attendees should bring a chair or a blanket and spread out for a delightful evening of musical performance and take part in a beloved American tradition! Schedule is subject to change. Inclement weather cancellations will be made by 6 p.m. the evening of the concert and posted on Marine Band social media and website.