The Marine Corp Band – “The President’s Own”

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For over 200 years, the United States Marine Band has been part of the happenings that have shaped the country. In 1798, Congress established the Marine Band and it’s the oldest continuously active musical organization in the country. Their mission is very unique – to provide music for the President of the United States. As the Marine Band moves into its third century, the tradition of excellence continues. Earning the title of “The President’s Own” from Thomas Jefferson, it’s the only musical organization that is charged with performing for the President. This is the music of America and this band performs in the White House, for the public, and on national tours.

The original Marine Band had 32 drummers and fifers. These men were deployed on ships or sent to Marine posts, but some were to remain in Philadelphia to provide music for government leaders. The first concert occurred in 1800 in Washington DC, near the spot where the Lincoln Memorial would eventually stand. In 1801, the Band performed at the White House for President John Adams on New Year’s Day. A few months later, the Marine Band performed for President Jefferson’s inauguration and for every subsequent inauguration afterwards.


The first time the Marine Band played “Hail to the Chief” was in 1829 to honor President Andrew Jackson. These musicians performed when the first cornerstone was laid for the Washington Monument in 1848. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln gave his now famous Gettysburg Address, followed by a performance by the Band.

In 1880, John Philip Sousa would become the 17th Leader of the Marine Band at the age of 25. For the next 12 years, the Marine Band would premier many of this composer’s most famous marches, as well as the first phonograph recordings. In 1886, the Marine Band led President Cleveland to New York Harbor for the unveiling of the Statue of Liberty.

In 1922, the Marine Band would be heard for the first time on radio and it would continue to be highlighted on a weekly program for the next 24 years. In 1943, Winston Churchill and President Franklin Roosevelt would enjoy a special wartime concert at the White House. The two leaders sang the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” the Band played at the conclusion of the concert, even though it was pouring down rain.In 1963, the Marine Band led the funeral procession of President Kennedy, at the request of his wife.


In 1973, the first female member of the Marine Band was enlisted. The first overseas concert was done in the Netherlands in 1985. Just a couple of years later, the band would perform in five different cities in the former Soviet Union. This is the only military band to tour in the USSR before it was transformed into independent states.

Members of the Marine Band must audition. The selection process, as well as the audition, is exceptionally difficult and only the best of the best will be offered a spot with this prestigious organization. One of the best ways to recognize this honor is with one of the many styles of Marine Corps Band rings. Elegantly designed and very personalized, Marine Band rings are sure to be an item of pride to the Band members. You can easily order these United States Marine Band rings online and present it to your friend or loved one who will where it with honor and pride.

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