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Members of the 2nd Marine Division Band and the United States Marine Band (pictured in red coats), commonly referred to as The President’s Own, play together during a concert April 13. Members of The President’s Own came from Washington, D.C., to instruct, mentor and play with the 2nd Marine Division Band Marines throughout the week.

Photo by Cpl. Tommy Bellegarde

President’s Own, 2nd Marine Division Band unite for Lejeune concert

20 Apr 2012 | Cpl. Tommy Bellegarde

The Washington, D.C.-based United States Marine Band, commonly referred to as The President’s Own, teamed up with the 2nd Marine Division Band during a concert April 13.

Members from the United States Marine Band spent time instructing, mentoring and rehearsing with Marines of the 2nd Marine Division Band April 10-13. The visit culminated April 13 when both groups played together during a concert on base. They fine-tuned their instruments throughout the week before the concert to ensure the event would be a success.

The event was open to the public and the audience of Marines, friends and families of 2nd Marine Division rewarded the performers’ diligence with an appreciative round of applause after each piece.

“I think that everybody can go home tonight, pull their boots off and know they did an outstanding job,” said Tecumseh, Okla., native Chief Warrant Officer 2 Forest Q. Brown, the officer in charge of the 2nd Marine Division Band, at the post-concert reception.

The 2nd Marine Division Band Marines were excited about the opportunity to work alongside the members of The President’s Own during the week.

“The (2nd Marine) Division Band has been working very hard in order to put on the concert, and now that we have The President’s Own with us, it will just make it that much more enjoyable and memorable for me,” said Lance Cpl. Daniel Cvach, of Havre de Grace, Md., a tuba player with the 2nd Marine Division Band. “I’ve never had the opportunity to play with such a high-caliber ensemble before, so I’m really looking forward to it and looking forward to what we produce as an ensemble together.”

Most of The President’s Own Marines are music professionals, holding higher degrees from top music schools. They must go through a series of auditions to be selected as members of the band, which is tasked with providing music for the U.S. president and the commandant of the Marine Corps.

“I’m just looking forward to being surrounded by really fine musicians,” said Hudson, Wis., native Cpl. Brent Hauer, a trumpet player in the 2nd Marine Division Band, after the bands’ first rehearsal. “Music is one of those things where the better people you surround yourself with, the better you’re going to play.”

The President’s Own Marines were equally excited to pass their musical knowledge to such an eager group of young musicians and provided individual and group lessons to the 2nd Marine Division Marines throughout the week.

“It’s fun to just focus on your craft and just talk to other people who are into it as much as you are, and with the Marine bands, they’re so motivated – I’ve worked with high school groups, college groups in the band and outside, but nobody’s motivated like Marines,” said Las Cruces, N.M., native Staff Sgt. Douglas Quinzi, a French horn player with The President’s Own. “They’re very welcoming, and just anything that you want to work on or talk about, they just seem really into it.”

The success of the concert demonstrated Marines with the 2nd Marine Division Band soaked in all the knowledge from The President’s Own during the week and are now better musicians, having acquired skills that will remain with them for life.

“The training was very intense – and intense in a good way,” said Brown. “The Marines from The President’s Own were intent on giving their knowledge to our Marines – breaking it down in a way to make our Marines successful – and you could see the focus our Marines had. The knowledge that was imparted to Marines of 2nd Marine Division, they received it; they’ve been able to apply it now – so mission success there. They’ve done it once, now it can be repeated for every performance.”


2nd Marine Division