For more than 200 years, the musicians of “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band have played a role in American history. This September, South Florida audiences will get a rare opportunity to hear the music performed at the White House.
Founded on July 11, 1798 by an Act of Congress signed by President John Adams, “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band is America’s oldest professional musical ensemble.
Since that day, the band has held a special place in the ceremonial life of our nation:
In 1800, the Marine Band presented its first public concert in the new capital city of Washington “on a hill overlooking the Potomac” near the future site of the Lincoln Memorial. Residents reportedly “thronged to hear the ‘Marines’ band of music.” The band made its White House debut in the unfinished executive mansion at a New Year’s Day reception hosted by President and Mrs. Adams in 1801.
On March 4, 1801, the Marine Band performed for Thomas Jefferson’s inaugural ceremony. Jefferson, an avid music lover and violinist, is credited with giving the band it’s title, “The President’s Own.” Since then, the band has provided music for every presidential inaugural.
In 1863, the band accompanied Abraham Lincoln to Gettysburg, Pa., for the dedication of the national cemetery and delivery of the president’s famed Gettysburg Address.
Since then, the band has played for the dedication of nearly every major monument in Washington, D.C., and provided ceremonial music for state visits of countless world leaders.
The annual Marine Band concert tour is a tradition begun by the band’s most famous leader, “The March King,” John Philip Sousa, who served from 1880-91. Today, the band rotates its itinerary regionally, returning to South Florida every five years.
“In the style of the band’s 17th Director John Philip Sousa, Director Lt. Col. Jason K. Fettig has chosen a diverse mix of programs—
from traditional band repertoire and marches to instrumental solos,” said MSgt Kristin DuBois. “By the end of October, the Marine Band will have performed a total of 28 concerts in 30 days on its 2016 tour.”
Marine Band concerts are free and tickets may be requested by contacting the following venues:
Thursday, Oct. 13, 8 p.m.
Kravis Center, West Palm Beach
Friday, Oct. 14, 7:30 p.m.
Bailey Hall, Broward College, Davie
Saturday, Oct. 15
Miami-Dade College, Kendall
To learn more about “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band, go to MarineBand.Marines.mil.