'The President's Own' U.S. Marine Band to perform in Bakersfield
August 31, 2019
A decade has passed since the scarlet coats of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band last appeared on stages along the West Coast. However, on Sunday, Oct. 20 the band returns and will play a free concert in Bakersfield. The performance, held at 3 p.m., is sponsored by Patriots of Kern and will take place at Rabobank Convention Center.
Free tickets are available (limit four per request), starting Sept. 22 by visiting marineband.ticketleap.com. Tickets are needed for entry. Seating is general admission and ticket holders must be seated by 2:45 p.m.; remaining seats will be released to the standby line at that time.
In the style of the band’s 17th Director John Philip Sousa, who initiated the concert tour tradition in 1891, Marine Band Director Col. Jason K. Fettig has chosen a diverse mix of programs from traditional band repertoire and Sousa marches to instrumental solos and a salute to the Armed Forces.
“We always try to highlight music on our programs that celebrates the region we are visiting, whether it be marches that provide a connection or folk music that might be associated with certain areas of the country,” said Marine Band Director Col. Jason K. Fettig. “We have tremendously appreciative patrons who come to Marine Band concerts for all types of different experiences, so our programs are designed to include a great variety of music that mirrors the wonderful diversity in our national musical heritage.”
After Sousa left the Marine Band in 1892, “The President’s Own” made only five tours—1901, 1907, 1911, 1912, and 1915—before traveling yearly between 1920 and 1931. The band suspended its tours during the Depression years of 1932-1934, but took to the road again in 1935 and continued until 1942. During World War II, the band played many additional performances in Washington, D.C., and at the White House to boost wartime morale. The Marine Band’s national concert tours resumed in 1946 and have continued every year since.
By the end of the tour, the Marine Band will have traveled more than 2,000 miles along the West Coast, performing 28 concerts in five states, with stops in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona.
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 mission is to provide music for the President of the United States and the Commandant of the Marine Corps.