Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Marine Corps Band - New Orleans

After visiting the Niagara, I saw that that a Marine Corps band was starting to head up to a stage that was set up in front of the Renaissance Center.  Since I enjoy band music, I decided to listen to it for a bit.
 And of course, take pictures.  This particular band is stationed out of New Orleans and has been along for the ride on the USS De Wert.  I think this is only part of that band though as I would imagine a frigate is pretty crowded as is.  Here they are standing at attention as they are about to start their performance.
 Their first song was the Star Spangled Banner of course.  It was pretty good.
 I do love the Marine dress uniform.  It looks pretty snazzy.
 After the Star Spangled Banner, they played a New Orleans standard.  Unfortunately, I wanted to move on to the ships, so I listened just a little bit longer.
 I'll have to admit, they did look pretty impressive.
 A shot of part of the band.
 The drum major.  He pretty much stood at attention through what I saw.
 Another angle of the band.  I also tried to get the Niagara in the background.
 A shot of the whole setup.  There weren't too many people there though.
 One of the musicians.
And a shot of the conductor.

An interesting tidbit, John Philip Sousa was a member of the Marine Corps band.


cmadler said...

Sousa's father, who was a trombonist in the band, enlisted him as an apprentice musician in the USMC Band at the age of 13 to keep him from joining a circus band! He served until age 20, then worked in a theatrical pit orchestra, where he learned to conduct. Five years later (yes, at age 25) he returned to head the USMC Band, and at the age of 26 he was conducting the band at President James Garfield's inaugural ball.

cmadler said...

Worth noting, however, that Sousa's involvement was with "the" United States Marine Band, aka "The President's Own". There are many other Marine Corps bands, of which this is one.

You can tell with certainty by the rank insignia. Members of the United State Marine Band start at the rank of staff sergeant, for which the insignia is three chevrons and a rocker (what the drum major is wearing in your photo) with the crossed rifles replaced by a lyre, indicating that their mission is only music -- they are the only members of the US Armed Forces who do not undergo recruit training or perform combat missions. In this band, they are wearing the crossed rifles, plus there are many musicians here of lower rank than staff sergeant (two saxophonists are corporals, and the clarinetist in your close-up is a sergeant).