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"The President's Own"

United States Marine Band

Colonel Jason K. Fettig, Director
Unit News
What is Old is New Again

By Master Sgt. Kristin duBois | | August 11, 2014

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The Marine Band’s Summer Fare performances on Aug. 13 and 14, conducted by Director Lt. Col. Jason K. Fettig, will feature selections to delight and entertain a range of ages. From classic transcriptions from the golden age of bands to more present-day arrangements and lush romantic melodies to the world première of Paul Lavender’s transcription Scherzo for Motorcycle and Band from Indiana Jones by John Williams, this concert has it all. Also featured will be two virtuoso soloists: oboe player Staff Sgt. Tessa Vinson will perform Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Variations on a Romance by Glinka and baritone vocalist Master Sergeant Kevin Bennear will sing “They Call the Wind Maria” from Paint Your Wagon.

Vinson stumbled across Rimsky-Korsakov’s oboe solo during her research in the Marine Band’s archives. Unlike the trumpet and clarinet, there is a limited amount of repertoire for solo oboe and band, so when she found it, she took notice. “After listening to it I was surprised at how well the piece suited the solo oboe accompanied by band,” Vinson said. “I instantly fell in love with its romantic characteristics and its ‘old school’ quality.”

“Rimsky-Korsakov originally wrote this Theme and Variations in 1878 for oboe and military band based on Mikhail Glinka’s song ‘What, Young Beauty,’” she continued. “It interested me to find this piece originally composed for oboe and band by such a prominent Russian composer.”

There are few more prominent figures in the musical theater realm than Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe. The lyricist/composer team scored great success on Broadway with such shows as “Brigadoon,” “My Fair Lady,” and “Camelot.” Although their show “Paint Your Wagon” resulted in mixed reviews, the songs took on a life of their own and became popular through performances by such groups as the Kingston Trio and the Smothers Brothers. “They Call the Wind Maria” is one of the most memorable of the show’s songs.

“The reason I love this song is that it has a Western feel to it, you almost feel like you’re galloping,” Master Sgt. Bennear said. “It’s a beautifully orchestrated and nostalgic time capsule of the American West in the form of song about a cowboy’s lost love.”

The eclectic program also includes John Philip Sousa’s marches “The Pathfinder of Panama” and “The Stars and Stripes Forever;” A. Carlos Gomes’ Overture to Il Guarany, transcribed by Herbert L. Clarke; Donald Grantham’s Let Evening Come;  and Roger Nixon’s “Fiesta del Pacifico.”

Summer Fare takes place at 8 p.m., Wednesdays on the West Terrace of the U.S. Capitol and Thursdays at the Sylvan Theater, on the grounds of the Washington Monument. Street parking is available or, for concerts at the Capitol, patrons may take the red line to Union Station or the blue, orange, or silver lines to the Capitol South station. For concerts at the Sylvan Theater take the blue, orange, or silver lines to the Smithsonian station. The concerts are free but weather permitting. Inclement weather announcements will be made by 6 p.m. on the band’s Concert Information Line at (202) 433-4011.


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