CHICAGO -- Dozens of Marine musicians met in Chicago for the Fiscal Year 2012 Music Leadership Symposium, Dec. 12-14.
The symposium is an opportunity for musicians to discuss future plans, strategies and upcoming events, according to Chief Warrant Officer James Ford, head of the Marine Corps music program. It is also when they host the annual musical awards and is held in conjunction with the Midwest Clinic, held annually in Chicago. Every year, approximately 15,000 musicians, educators and students attend the Midwest Clinic. This year the clinic was hosted at the McCormick Place, Dec. 14-17.
As stated on the Midwest Clinic website, the clinic exists to raise the standards of music education, develop new teaching techniques, improve methods employed in music education, and to hold clinics, lectures and demonstrations for betterment of music education.
According to Ford, the clinic offers musicians a unique opportunity to further increase their music knowledge, learn from other musicians and develop professionally.
“Aside from the School of Music, there are not a lot of opportunities for professional (enrichment) in the music field,” Ford said.
Other than professional development for band members, the clinic offers the opportunity to introduce the Marine Corps Music program to young musicians, music educators and those seeking employment as a musician.
“The Midwest Clinic is one of the largest music education conferences in the nation,” said Gunnery Sgt. Jason Knuckles, the musician technical assistant for the 9th Marine Corps District. “Most of the people who attend the clinic are school teachers, band directors, college directors and musicians. It’s a good opportunity to introduce the Marine Corps to people looking to further their musical career.”
With no Marine Corps bands in the Midwest, the clinic is one of the few times people can meet and speak with Marine musicians.
“It’s a prime time to talk to everyone about our program,” Knuckles said. “The Marines there are proof sources of who what we do.”