Conducted by Marine Band Director Lt. Col. Jason K. Fettig, the Marine Band’s March 22 concert, titled “New and Improved,” consists almost entirely of new music and new transcriptions of both contemporary and well-known orchestral compositions including the world première of Narong Prangcharoen’s Lokuttara. In addition, the program will include Samuel Jones’ Fanfare and Celebration; David Conte’s A Copland Portrait; Maurice Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloé, Suite No. 2; Bernard Herrmann’s “The Death Hunt” from On Dangerous Ground, and Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Songs of Travel, featuring baritone vocalist Master Sgt. Kevin Bennear. The concert will also feature euphonium player Joe Broom, prize winner of the Marine Band’s annual Concerto Competition for high school musicians. The concert is free, no tickets are required, and free parking is available in the adjacent garage. A pre-concert string quartet will perform music in the lobby beginning at 1:15 p.m.
Every year since 2008, the Marine Band and Marine Corps Heritage Foundation have hosted the annual Concerto Competition for High School Musicians, and the competition always draws some of the most talented high school players in the country. This year’s featured high school soloist will perform Eduardo Bocca’s Fantasia di Concerto.
Broom loves the concerto, specifically the Italian influences that he believes suit the euphonium very well. And “while it is operatic and thematic, it also provides a remarkable showcase for the virtuosity of the instrument,” he said. According to the young musician, “the audience should expect an Italian/operatic) and Spanish/bolero hybrid that explores the limits of the instrument.”
The high school senior continued, “There are some very extended phrases in the bolero, so I have to use a technique called circular breathing, where I inhale and exhale simultaneously to keep playing for a length of time that’s not possible on a single breath. I also use a lot of multiple tonguing in the cadenza and finale.”
“Performing this piece is a journey, and that’s what I love about it. Through 11 minutes, the Boccalari moves from a lone cry in the distance to a bolero to a rousing finale with the full band playing together.”
Broom has entered the Marine Band Concerto Competition four times, competing in the final round three times at Marine Barracks Annex in Washington, D.C. As a finalist in 2014 and 2015, he worked with Marine Band principal euphonium Gunnery Sgt. Mark Jenkins throughout the coaching portion of the competition.
“Mark Jenkins is an incredible musician who is precise in his advice, which has been a great help in the years I have been a contender.”
Broom spoke very highly of the competition, saying, “It was a great place to meet extraordinary musicians from around the country who were my age. The competition is always high level and has been a huge stepping stone in my development as a musician.”
“Performing with the Marine Band has been a goal of mine since 8th grade,” he continued. “Getting to solo with the band is a staggering realization of one of my deeply felt dreams. This performance is the culmination of a personal process that started when I saw the Marine Band perform when I was in the 8th grade. I hope this collaboration will be as sweet as the performances have been in my dreams.”
Complete concert program and notes
Directions and parking information