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9th Marine Corps District

Midwest Marines

Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois
Marine Band San Diego Wows Midwest

By Sgt. Calvin Hilt | 9th Marine Corps District | April 19, 2019

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Marine Corps Band San Diego toured the Midwest and provided concerts for the public April 15-17. The band’s primary mission is to provide musical support for military and civic ceremonies. In addition to these duties they also tour the Nation performing at high schools and universities to spread awareness about the Marine Corps Band.

“The purpose of performing in the Midwest was to raise awareness about bands in the Marine Corps,” said Warrant Officer Alex Panos, the Officer-in-Charge for Marine Corps San Diego Band. “A lot of people are not aware of that. We also wanted to educate people that the Marine Corps Band program is an option for them.”

The band played the works of John Philip Sousa, Yankee Doodle Dandy, and opened with the Avengers theme song during their tour of the Midwest.

The band consists of 50 Marines. All those selected to become a Marine Musician must first qualify before enlisting. Upon acceptance, they attend recruit training where they undergo the transformation from civilian to Marine over thirteen weeks. After follow-on training they hone the finer parts of being a Marine Musician at the Naval School of Music in Norfolk, Virginia.

High school and college students on the fence about their future should know their options when it comes to the Marine Corps band, explained Panos. The Marine Corps bands tour the Nation to allow potential future Marine Musicians to see their quality.

The Marines of the band also perform in ensembles, from full concert band to brass quintet. Some of their small ensembles include a Woodwind Quintet, Jazz Combo, and the Double Time Brass Band, each with a special musical mission.

The band primarily performs the ceremonial graduation proceedings at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and often supplements other ceremonies with their musical talents. Performances such as the Tournament of Roses Parade, Holiday Bowl Parade, and sporting events for the Arizona Cardinals home games, are just a few of the over 350 appearances they make each year.

If you have questions about the Marine Band San Diego or if you have the musical inclination, reach out to your local Marine Corps Recruiter for more information. You can also text “MEOP” to 50500 for more information.


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