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"The President's Own"


"The President's Own"

United States Marine Band

Colonel Jason K. Fettig, Director
Unit News
Summer Fare Features "Top 10" Sousa March

By Master Sgt. Kristin duBois | United States Marine Band | August 16, 2016


The Marine Band’s Summer Fare continues this week at 8 p.m., on Wednesday, Aug. 17 and Thursday, Aug. 18 with favorites from the March King, John Williams, Artie Shaw, and Richard Wagner. Marine Band Director Lt. Col. Jason K. Fettig will lead the band in Williams’ March from Steven Spielberg’s film, 1941; A. Carlos Gomes’ Overture to Il Guarany; Artie Shaw’s Concerto for Clarinet, featuring Staff Sgt. Lucia Disano; and Capt. Ryan J. Nowlin’s “Let Freedom Ring.”
The concert will also feature Marine Band clarinetist Staff Sgt. Parker Gaims making his conducting debut as part of the band’s Conductor Training Program (CTP). The CTP is an annual initiative where three musicians are selected to receive additional coaching and instruction in conducting. “As a performer and composer, I have created music in several different ways,” Gaims said. “Conducting engages the totality of my musicianship and requires even more from me.” Although the process has had its share of growing pains, Gaims is aware of the challenges that conducting has presented. “I have spent years learning how to express myself musically on the clarinet, and it is a challenge to channel my musicianship without the instrument in my hands,” he admitted. “A conductor has to be the guiding musical and emotional force for an ensemble and it is difficult to be a musician, actor, and dancer all at once. One must know how to listen to what just happened, what is currently happening, and anticipate what is to happen all at the same time.” 

The two pieces Gaims programmed demonstrate the skills he has honed over the past year with conducting master classes, coaching, and workshops. “The Free Lance March definitely sits within my top-ten Sousa marches,” he said. “Sousa’s ability to constantly vary texture, harmony, rhythm, and orchestration is virtuosic and effortless. He plays with short melodic motives and uses a number of forte percussion interjections, sometimes unexpectedly. The march concludes with an exciting grandioso strain complete with full brass and exciting percussion accents. I am very excited to share this march with the band and our audiences. I am also looking forward to helping guide the band through some of the features of the work which I find so dramatic and stimulating.”

He also selected Scenes from The Louvre by Norman Dello Joio, which is a suite taken from Emmy award-winning music written for a documentary about the famous museum. One might expect that each movement corresponds to a particular painting, but the music reflects the feelings a visitor may have while walking through different parts of the Louvre. “My favorite movement is the third, The Kings of France,” Gaims said. “Dello Joio’s use of suspensions, fugal composition, and a grand texture of brass instruments instantly transports me back to the royal courts of the Renaissance. I hope the audience is equally as inspired!”

Summer Fare takes place June through August at 8 p.m., Wednesdays at the West Terrace of the U.S. Capitol and Thursdays at the Sylvan Theater, on the grounds of the Washington Monument. For the Summer Fare performances, limited street parking is available. 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 and programming is subject to change. Inclement weather announcements will be made by 6 p.m. on the band’s Concert Information Line at (202) 433-4011 and on the Marine Band’s website and social media pages.

Complete Program and Notes

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