In honor of Veterans Day, and serendipity of a 7th grade boy landing in a band class with my daughter’s current band director many years ago, I was blessed to hear one incredible musician last night in a community concert. Here’s a link to where he’ll be tonight before heading back to Washington, DC. He performed a clarinet solo and conducted a piece with our high school band as one of the service projects of the “President’s Own” United States Marine Band. I am not usually moved by marching band music in general, but listening to the sensitive quality of his musicianship, humility when addressing the crowd, and inspiring these young people, I was deeply moved. And he received a standing ovation.
I had known of the high quality of musicians serving in the armed services, but I knew nothing about the history of the “President’s Own” band. They are the longest performing professional music group in America, way back to 1798, and the presidency of John Adams.
I assumed Sousa marches would definitely be the core of the corps, but I was surprised to learn of the countless gorgeous chamber music recordings that have been made, which anyone can listen to on their YouTube channel.
Here is one interview with the conductor of the band about the single most ground-breaking Inauguration moment we’ve experienced to date, in 2009.