MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE --
Marines, sailors, families and friends grooved their way into the Christmas spirit at the 2nd Marine Division holiday concert, presented by the 2nd Marine Division Band, December 15, 2013, in the base theater aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
The concert also streamed live to Marines and sailors supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and around the world.
“We have all heard ‘Tis the season to be jolly,’ so that’s what we did. We brought the spirit of Christmas to everybody,” said Cpl. Alberto Carrion, a clarinet player, and native of Elizabeth, N.J.
The show consisted of continuous music played from different sections within the band, the Concert Band, Party Band and Jazz Ensemble. Each section designed to ignite a spark of Christmas joy in the audience.
The concert was family oriented and presented skits with Marines dressed up as different holiday characters. Sergeant India M. Ward, a piccolo player with the band, dressed up as a hippopotamus and danced across stage as the band played their rendition of “I want a hippopotamus for Christmas,” drawing laughter from the crowd.
The ability to stream the concert live provided the band the opportunity to spread Christmas cheer to the Division’s deployed Marines.
“I hope it means a lot to the deployed Marines, just so they know that we are still thinking about them because I know they may feel as if sometimes the rest of the world forgets about them,” said Lance Cpl. Matthew Ramirez, a pianist from Burleson, Texas. “So I hope it brought them some holiday cheer and made them feel a little bit closer to home.”
Between songs, the audience was able to see pre-recorded holiday greetings from their loved ones, friends and fellow Marines in Afghanistan. The families of deployed service members were also afforded the opportunity to record messages for the loved ones overseas.
After all the hard work put out by the band they really feel as if they accomplished their mission of raising Christmas spirit.
“When you actually play in front of people and get a great response, it just brings so much joy and happiness to your heart and makes you realize that’s why you’re there in the first place,” Ramirez said.