Last week, “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band hosted a Drum Major Clinic for drum majors from fleet Marine Corps bands, Washington, D.C. service bands, and the Marine Band of the Royal Netherlands Navy, to collaborate, hone their skills, and share ideas. Over three days, the drum majors met to discuss the similarities and differences among the different branches of service as well as participate in several practical application sessions on drum majoring and conducting. The participants also observed a funeral at Arlington National Cemetery, supported by the Marine Band, a Friday Evening Parade rehearsal and parade at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C.
According to Marine Band Drum Major Master Sgt. Duane King, there were 15 attendees; participants came from the U.S. Marine Band, U.S. Army Band, U.S. Navy Band, three fleet Marine Corps bands, and the Marine Band of the Royal Netherlands Navy.
“The purpose of the event was to develop a better understanding about what it means to be a drum major and the drum major’s role within the confines of military bands in general,” said Marine Band Assistant Drum Major Staff Sgt. Steven Williams.
Williams added that the event was beneficial in that the attendees could pick up additional helpful tricks of the trade. “And I really enjoyed the camaraderie,” Williams said. “Just being able to meet and talk to each other about different challenges proved to be very beneficial. No matter the branch of service or country, we all are dealing with similar issues.”