West Springfield, MASS. --
More than 40 members of the 2nd Marine Division Band set out on a trip to West Springfield, Mass., for the largest fair in the Northeast to perform for the more than 1,000,000 fairgoers.
The band, out of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., spent three days performing at least twice a day for several high schools in and around West Springfield, and finished each day with an appearance at The Big E parade.
The Big E is a 17-day New England extravaganza, which featured top-name entertainment like comedian Jeff Dunham, country singer Billy Currington and the band. Still, the all-Marine band showed the citizens of Connecticut and Massachusetts why they truly are the busiest band in the land.
The band performed at least eight shows in three days, and one Marine in the band took the opportunity to debut a little known secret he and his fellow Marines had been working on for several months.
Lance Cpl. David Corderman of Richmond, Va., and two other Marines within the band took the initiative to come together and form the 2nd Marine Division rock band.
“It was great for me, because that is what I have experience doing,” said Corderman, a basic musician with the band, and singer for the rock band. “I played in a rock band for 10 years before joining the Marine Corps and that’s what I had hoped to be doing when I came to Camp Lejeune. The rock band just added a new dynamic to our band and I think the high schools really enjoyed it.”
Every high school crowd the band played for showed great enthusiasm, making each concert a success in the eyes of the Marines. Every concert they performed came with months of practice and fine tuning prior to the start of the trip.
No one noticed the hard work and dedication put out by the Marine musicians more than Fort Wayne, Ind., native, Master Gunnery Sgt. Matthew Boatright.
“From a leadership perspective, the Marines were very flexible and they executed well,” mentioned Boatright, the officer in charge for the band. “Especially the rock band. It was something that nobody expected and something that those three Marines put together on their own. You want to talk about initiative in the Marine Corps, well, it’s definitely alive and well with the corporals and lance corporals.”
The Marines walked around the auditoriums for a few minutes after the concerts and interacted with the grateful spectators before tearing down the stage. The band’s endless hours of practice and rehearsals paid dividends when many of the people in the audience thanked them and told them what a great job they did.
“With all the hard work and endless hours spent, it was great to see the positive reactions from the crowds, and that just made it a fun trip overall,” concluded Corderman.