U.S. Marine Band: An All-Star Orchestra Special

(Rochester, NY) - The All-Star Orchestra's Gerard Schwarz conducts the U.S. Marine Band, America's oldest continually performing musical ensemble, in the three-part series U.S. Marine Band: An All-Star Orchestra Special, airing back to back Friday,  July 5, 2019 at 8:30 p.m. on WXXI-TV. The U.S. Marine Band was founded by an act of Congress in 1798, and dubbed "The President's Own" by President Thomas Jefferson. 

The beloved folk melodies and lively dances of Grainger’s “Lincolnshire Posy” start off the program. A fascinating history of the 229-year-old U.S. Marine Band leads into Maestro Schwarz’ own “Above and Beyond”— dedicated to the Marine Band. Next comes Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Higdon’s thrilling “Fanfare Ritmico. ” and Sousa’s “Semper Fidelis” March, conducted by the Director of the U.S. Marine Band, Colonel Jason K. Fettig, bring this first episode to a rousing conclusion. The second piece of the series kicks off with a series of Revolutionary War melodies which provided the inspiration for William Schuman’s iconic “New England Triptych” including the moving meditation “When Jesus Wept” and the thrilling “Chester” as performed at several Presidential inaugurations. Next, Vincent Persichetti’s colorful “Masquerade” shows off the Band’s amazing virtuosity.

The program concludes with Sousa’s immortal “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” The final installation of this orchestral program begins with a performance of the First Suite by Gustav Holst (famous composer of “The Planets”), an early masterpiece in the concert band repertoire, paired here with the first complete Symphony for Band by the great Paul Hindemith. The splendor of Chinese percussion in Bright Sheng’s “Shanghai Overture” brings the series to a spectacular finale.

Photo: U.S. Marine Band - Oboes
Credit: Courtesy of Oregon Public Broadcasting



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