The Marine Band’s National Concert Tour began Sept. 15 in Harrisonburg, Va., and continues through Oct. 15 where “The President’s Own” will perform in Albuquerque, N.M. By the end of the tour, the Marine Band will have traveled 3,920 miles throughout the South and Southwest, performing 29 concerts in 11 states, with stops in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico.
In addition to the daily concerts, members of the band have gone into local schools to provide master classes and clinics while on the road. On Thursday, Sept. 24, a four-member jazz ensemble went to Boynton Elementary School in Ringgold, Ga. There they performed some familiar tunes for more than 400 elementary students who went wild when the group played Spyro Gyra’s “Morning Dance.”
According to group member Master Sgt. Daniel Orban, “We had a very successful performance at Boynton, and the ‘Morning Dance’ had the perfect energy for our early morning program!”
View photos from the event
According to the band’s educational outreach coordinator Master Gunnery Sgt. Jay Niepoetter, each clinic is completely different and unique. “This is a valuable resource for educators,” Niepoetter said. “The Marine Band does many things to preserve America’s history and musical traditions, and this program allows us to help youth in a very meaningful way.”
“The educational outreach program puts a personal face to the Marine Band,” he continued. “When students look up on stage and hear the music and see us in uniforms, becoming a member of the Marine Band might seem unattainable. But the next morning when we come into their schools and talk to them and play for them in their band room or auditorium, we can help them to see that we were once band students just like them.”
Educational outreach can come in many forms and can consist of any number of soloists or small ensembles. “Sometimes we’ll send a group to perform an elementary school assembly and other times we’ll play side by side in a symphonic band rehearsal or need a couple of musicians to monitor a mock Marine Band audition,” Niepoetter explained. “We’ve even had our vocalist coach young people on how to properly sing the National Anthem.”
The Marine Band will reach almost 5,000 students this year as part of the National Tour educational outreach program.
For a complete list of tour performances and free ticket request information, visit the Marine Band's tour itinerary online. All concerts are free, but tickets are required. Tickets are valid until 15 minutes before each tour concert. At that time, non-ticket holders will be admitted on a first come, first served basis.