Aug. 4, 2014 --
One of the Marine Band’s most highly-anticipated duties is to leave the confines of the Capital Beltway to tour a different region of the United States each year, exposing American music lovers and patriots alike to the musicians whose mission is to provide music for the President of the United States and the Commandant of the Marine Corps. To some, these performances may be their first classical music concert and to others, it might be their first time meeting a U.S. Marine in person. No matter what the motivation is, patrons welcome “The President’s Own” to their hometowns night after night, in big cities and rural townships, from sea to shining sea.
This year’s itinerary spans the entire country with stops in Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington and will take place from Sept. 1-29.
Although he is a seasoned tour veteran, the band’s 2014 concert tour will provide newly-appointed Marine Band Director Lt. Col. Jason K. Fettig with two firsts: his first as Director and his first time performing with the band along this route. “I have had some of my most fulfilling musical experiences while performing with the band for communities across the country,” Fettig said. “During my service thus far, as both a player and Assistant Director, this tour region is actually the only one that I have not yet had an opportunity to visit. So, it seems especially fitting that it will be the first region we visit during my time as Director.”
While Fettig puts the finishing touches on his tour programs, he explained that the Marine Band performs a tremendous variety of music while on tour, which often captures the musical diversity of the country. From patriotic marches and virtuoso solos to famous orchestral works and original music for concert band, the music performed by the band is carefully considered in an effort to create an exciting and memorable musical event for everyone in attendance.
“This year we are featuring the considerable talents of mezzo-soprano vocalist Gunnery Sgt. Sara Dell’Omo as well as two of our principal players—saxophonist Master Sgt. Steven Longoria and trombonist Gunnery Sgt. Samuel Barlow,” Fettig said. “Our third instrumental soloist is trumpeter Gunnery Sgt. Brad Weil who is no stranger to the region we are visiting on this particular tour. We will be performing in his hometown of Jasper, Ind., and his solo performance will undoubtedly be a highlight on that concert!”
“I am super excited to perform in my hometown at my high school,” Weil said. “My parents are absolutely thrilled and I know I will have many family and friends in attendance including my former band directors. It’s really wild for me to think about being there throughout high school and then coming back to solo with the Marine Band. It’s really a dream come true!”
It was a high priority of 17th Director John Philip Sousa to lead the band out of D.C. on tour, and it took 11 years for his own dream to come to fruition. “Sousa first brought the Marine Band on tour more than a century ago because he believed that the band belonged to all citizens, including those who do not have a regular opportunity to visit Washington, D.C.,” Fettig continued. “The spirit of that bold initiative absolutely holds true to this day, and we are grateful for the opportunity to continue the long-standing tradition of bringing this historic institution directly to the American people.”
The Marine Band’s 2014 National Concert Tour will take place Sept. 1-29 from western Maryland to Washington state. The performances are free but tickets are required.
Complete 2014 Tour Itinerary