Photo Information

Marines from the 2nd Marine Division Band march onto the field during the Highland Games in Greenville, S.C., May 28, 2011. The band performed for the opening ceremony during the games which were held to celebrate the heritage of Scotland.

Photo by By Lance Cpl. Johnny Merkley

2nd Marine Division Band goes to Highland Games

28 May 2011 | By Lance Cpl. Johnny Merkley

The 2nd Marine Division Band and 2nd Marine Division Color Guard performed at the 2011 Highland Games in Greenville S.C., May 28, 2011.

Their performance was part of the opening ceremony to the games, which is a traditional festival that celebrates the heritage of Scotland.

“This was a great opportunity for the band to perform in front of the public eye and show them what we do,” said Sgt. Mark A. Gajewski, the percussion section leader for the band. “Events like these create great public relations and show off the Marines Corps a little – we could be the first Marines these people have ever seen before.”

The games included many bands, athletes and salesmen from all over the world, all visiting the games to experience Scottish culture first hand. Along with festive music from bagpipes and drums, athletes came to compete in various competitions.

The crowd roared into applause as the band marched off the field after completing their performance. Multiple thanks to service members were also spoken by guest speakers at the games.

“I think the fact that the games were held during Memorial Day weekend also made it special,” said Lance Cpl. Danny Vejar, a trumpet player. “The people were definitely happy to see us.”

Also playing at the games was the Brass Band, a small group made up of a few band members who play jazz and funk songs which are always crowd favorites.

“I’m glad brass band got to play,” said Vejar, also a member of brass band. “That was a really good time and the people loved us.”

The performances were well received, and the band completed yet another concert to represent the Marine Corps.

“I had a really good time on this trip and thought we all played pretty well,” said Vejar. “I’m pretty new to the band so I hope in future years we can go back and play for the Highland Games once more.”