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United States Marine Band

Founded in 1798 by an Act of Congress, “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band directed by Lieutenant Colonel Ryan Nowlin, performs at the White House, the National Mall, and ceremonies such as presidential inaugurations, State and honor funerals, South Lawn arrivals and national days of remembrance among other celebrations. Its annual fall US concert tours were initiated by none other than “The March King” John Philip Sousa, the band’s legendary 17th director (1880-1892) who shaped the band into a world-famous musical organization that provides an integral role in national culture and affirms the importance of the arts as a bridge between people. Today’s band members are graduates of the nation’s finest music schools, many holding advanced degrees in music.

President John Adams invited the Marine Band to make its White House debut on New Year’s Day 1801. In March of that year, the band performed for Thomas Jefferson’s inauguration and it is believed that it has performed for every presidential inaugural since. An accomplished musicians himself, Jefferson recognized the unique relationship between the band and Chief Executive and was its most visionary advocate.

On July 11, 1998, the Marine Band celebrated its 200th anniversary with a command performance at the White House and a gala concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC attended by President and Mrs. Clinton. Also during its bicentennial year, the Marine Band was the only ensemble inducted into the inaugural class of the American Classical Music Hall of Fame in Cincinnati.

This event is sponsored by the University of Illinois School of Music, Illinois Bands, and the News-Gazette.

Patron Co-sponsors

  • Judith & Richard Kaplan

Event Details

Foellinger Great Hall
Su Oct 06, 2024 - 3:00pm CT

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