As part of its 2012 national concert tour, “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band will perform Oct. 5 at 7:30 p.m. in Shafer Auditorium at Allegheny College. The concert, made possible through the support of Allegheny and the Meadville Tribune, is free and open to the public.
Those who wish to attend may reserve tickets — limit four per request — by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Conference and Event Services - Box V, Allegheny College, 520 N. Main St., Meadville, Pa. 16335. Tickets will also be available at The Meadville Tribune office and at the college’s Conference and Events office, Room 190 in Schultz Hall, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Ticket holders must be seated by 7:15 p.m.; at 7:15 those without tickets will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis.
In the style of the band’s 17th director, John Philip Sousa, who initiated the concert tour tradition in 1891, Marine Band Director Col. Michael J. Colburn has chosen a diverse mix of programs — from traditional band repertoire and marches to instrumental solos. Programs are rotated throughout the tour to accommodate different concert venues. As the programs rotate, so will the soloists. Soloists will include Master Gunnery Sgts. Lisa Kadala and Jeffrey Strouf on clarinet. Gunnery Sgt. Kevin Bennear will sing a tribute to Mario Lanza and also act as concert moderator. Maj. Jason K. Fettig is assistant director of the band.
The program will include traditional marches, including “Semper Fidelis,” “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” “A Salute to the Armed Forces of the United States of America” and “The University of Pennsylvania Band March,” as well as Mendelssohn’s Concertpiece No. 2 in D minor, Opus 114; Percy Grainger’s “Colonial Song”; Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition,” and Malcolm Arnold’s “Beckus the Dandipratt” Overture, Opus 5.
During his 24 years with “The President’s Own,” Colburn has served as principal euphonium, assistant director and, since July 2004, the director who is leading the Marine Band in its third century. As director of “The President’s Own,” he is the music adviser to the White House. He regularly conducts the Marine Band at the Executive Mansion and at all Presidential Inaugurations. He also serves as music director of Washington, D.C.’s prestigious Gridiron Club, a position held by every Marine Band director since John Philip Sousa, and is a member of the American Bandmasters Association.
Deeply committed to seeking new works for the Marine Band, Colburn has been directly involved in commissions from composers David Rakowski, David Chaitkin, Melinda Wagner, Jennifer Higdon, Michael Gandolfi and Laurence Bitensky. He has worked to expand the Marine Band’s educational outreach efforts by increasing master classes at schools throughout the nation during the band’s annual concert tour, and by initiating Music in the High Schools, a program that sends musicians from “The President’s Own” to perform in Washington, D.C., area high schools.
Allegheny has a well-established connection with the U.S. Marine Band. Col. Timothy Foley, retired conductor of the band, has served as guest conductor for a week of Adult Band Camp at Allegheny College each year for the last eight years. In 2012 the second week of Adult Band Camp was conducted by Capt. Michelle Rakers, who serves as assistant conductor of the band.
The Marine Band is America’s oldest continuously active professional musical organization. Founded in 1798, the band has performed for every U.S. president since John Adams. Known as “The President’s Own” since the days of Thomas Jefferson, the Marine Band’s primary mission is to provide music for the President of the United States and the Commandant of the Marine Corps.