‘The President’s Own’ US Marine Band to Perform

Alumnus Col. Jason K. Fettig conducts “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band.
Alumnus Col. Jason K. Fettig conducts “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band.

As part of its 2017 national concert tour, “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, led by UMass Amherst alumnus Col. Jason K. Fettig, will perform a free concert on Oct. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Concert Hall.

Free tickets are available (with a limit of four per request) by visiting the Fine Arts Center box office or by calling 413/545-2511. Seating is first-come, first-served.

Ticket holders must be seated by 7:15 p.m., at which time non-ticket holders will be admitted.

In the style of the band’s 17th director, John Philip Sousa, who initiated the concert tour tradition in 1891, 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.

An alumnus of the music program, Fettig will be returning to campus for the first time since being named U.S. Marine Band Director in 2014. He studied clarinet with Michael Sussman and conducting under Malcolm W. Rowell Jr., earning a bachelor’s degree in each concentration in the late 1990s.

During the Oct. 10 concert, Rowell will guest conduct Percy Grainger’s “Irish Tune from County Derry,”and wind studies director Matthew Westgate will conduct Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Jesters” from “The Snow Maiden.”Other works on the program will include a Frank Sinatra medley featuring baritone vocalist Master Sgt. Kevin Bennear, and Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever” and “The Invincible Eagle.”

“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,” Fettig said. “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.”

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 primary mission is to provide music for the President of the United States and the Commandant of the Marine Corps.

The concert is sponsored by the UMass Amherst wind studies program, department of music and dance, and the Fine Arts Center.