Photo Information

Marines from the 2nd Marine Division Brass Band pumps up the crowd at Ft. Johnston, Southport, N.C., as they perform their routine June 26, 2011. The concert opened a week-long Fourth of July celebration for the town of Southport.

Photo by Cpl. Johnny Merkley

2nd Marine Division Band on the road again

26 Jun 2011 | Cpl. Johnny Merkley

The 2nd Marine Division Band traveled to Southport, N.C., to perform at the historical revolutionary war site of Ft. Johnston.

The concert opened the town’s week-long Fourth of July festival, a tradition the band is very familiar with.

“The concert was held to kick off the town’s local Fourth of July celebration,” said Staff Sgt. Chris Dwyer, the enlisted conductor for the 2nd Marine Division Band. “We’ve performed here many times before, and we’re already scheduled to play down there next year.”

The band performed multiple songs – all celebrating of American history and holiday traditions. Some of the featured songs were “The Star Spangled Banner,” “When the Saints Go Marching In,” “Casanova,” “God Bless the U.S.A.,” “America the Beautiful” and “The Armed Forces Medley.”

“The easy part of the song selection process is that our theme is already there for us,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Forest Brown, the band officer for the 2nd Marine Division Band. “The hard part is coming up with new styles to make the show more interesting and not repeating the same thing you did the year before.”

Also featured in the performance was the Brass Band, a small group of band members who play jazz and funk songs which always gets the crowd excited.

“The style that the Brass Band plays captures the audience because it’s out of the box of what people expect a Marine Corps band to play,” said Brown. “They get to see a different side of Marines and the Marine Corps; the value of the Brass Band is that it shows people that Marines have personality and a fun side.”

The crowd cheered as the concert came to a close – even chanting for the band to perform an encore.

“The great thing about this particular crowd was many of them were older veterans of the military,” said Dwyer. “Those are the best kind of crowds to play for in my opinion. They’re always really supportive of us and enjoy our show.”

After the performance, many of the crowd members came up to greet the Marine musicians and as usual, the Marine Corps was well represented by the Marines of the 2nd MarDiv Band.

“We’re always striving for perfection,” said Brown. “I believe when they communicate and connect with the audience, then they’ve done a good job.”