'The President's Own' U.S. Marine Band.

LEWISBURG, Pa. — As part of its 2007 national concert tour, "The President's Own" U.S. Marine Band will perform at Bucknell University's Weis Center for the Performing Arts at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4.

Sponsored by Bucknell's Department of Music in conjunction with the Weis Center, the concert is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Only four tickets per request will be available from the Campus Box Office in the Weis Center or by phone (570-577-1000) beginning at 11 a.m. Sept. 10. These tickets must be used before 7:45 p.m. on the night of the concert. At that time, unredeemed tickets are no longer valid, and any unused seats will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Backpacks and bags are not permitted in the building for this event.

"This great Marine Band is 'The President's Own,' but it's also our nation's treasure," said President George W. Bush.

43 concerts in 49 days
By late November, the Marine Band will have performed a total of 43 concerts in 49 days on its 2007 tour. This year’s tour route takes the band through Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland.

For more than two centuries, the Marine Band has been part of events that have shaped the nation. Established by an Act of Congress in 1798, the Marine Band is America’s oldest professional musical organization. Its primary mission is to provide music for the President of the United States and the Commandant of the United States Marine Corps.

Tradition of excellence
Now in its third century, the Marine Band continues a tradition of excellence that earned the title "The President’s Own" from President Thomas Jefferson. Its musicians are selected at auditions like those of major symphony orchestras, and they enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps for duty with the Marine Band only. Most of its members are graduates of the nation’s finest music schools, and nearly 60 percent hold advanced degrees in music.

Marine Band musicians appear at the White House more than 300 times each year, for events including South Lawn arrival ceremonies, State Dinners, and receptions. Additionally, the band participates in more than 500 public and official performances annually.

Each fall, the Marine Band travels through a region of the United States, a century-old tradition initiated by John Philip Sousa, the band's legendary 17th director.

Debuted in 1801
The Marine Band made its White House debut on New Year’s Day, 1801, in a performance for President John Adams. In March of that year, the band performed for the inauguration of Thomas Jefferson, and has performed for every Presidential inauguration since.

As director from 1880-92, Sousa brought "The President's Own" to new heights of excellence and shaped the band into a world-famous musical organization. During his tenure, the band became one of the first musical ensembles to make sound recordings. National concert tours began in 1891, and Sousa started writing the marches that earned him the title "The March King."

Media Advisory: News organizations intending to cover the Marine Band's performance are required to have U.S. Marine Band approval at least two days prior to the event by calling (202)433-5810. 

Contact: Office of Communications

Posted Sept. 11, 2007

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