Saturday, January 17, 2009

Marine Band to Provide Inaugural Pomp and Circumstance

By Samantha L. QuigleyAmerican Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16, 2009 – Not only is it fitting that the “President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band play “Hail to the Chief” during the Jan. 20 inauguration ceremonies, it’s tradition.

The U.S. Marine Band was created by an act of Congress signed by President John Adams on July 11, 1798,” Marine Master Gunnery Sgt. D. Michael Ressler, the band’s historian and 34-year member, said.

The law called for 32 drummers and fifers to be part of the Marine Corps. “The President’s Own” -- dubbed such by President Thomas Jefferson -- now includes about 130 members, five officers, a drum major and 22 full-time professional support staff.

Besides the U.S. Marine Band, “The President’s Own” also encompasses the Marine Chamber Orchestra and the Marine Chamber Ensembles. They perform regularly at the White House and conduct more than 500 public performances across the nation each year.

But the road to such prestige is a long one. (Read the full story)

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