Marines educate, congratulate during high school band competition
By Cpl. Aaron Diamant
| 4th Marine Corps District | November 01, 2013
Virginia Beach, Va. --
Thirteen high school marching bands took to a muddy football field to compete at the Kempsville Classic Band Review, held at Kempsville High School, Oct. 19.
The bands were also educated about some of the music-related opportunities offered in the Marine Corps.
Field shows, often seen at half time during high school football games across the nation, are something many football fans might not realize are another form of competition for high school students.
Despite the rain, mud and fierce competition, the bands performed to the best of their abilities like young professionals and they left with their heads held high.
Judged in categories ranging from overall performance to percussion, design, musicality, marching and more, the students took to the field as a unit, performed as a unit, and won or lost as a unit, much like the Marines in attendance do in battle or humanitarian operations.
The bands received feedback from the adjudicators so they can continue to fine-tune their future performances.
Marines were on hand at the end of the competition to present trophies to the winning bands during the awards ceremony. This event provided the Marine recruiters with an opportunity to gain positive exposure in front of the students, teachers and parents in attendance.
The Marines, from various Recruiting Sub-Stations in the Recruiting Station Richmond area of responsibility congratulated the bands on their performances and also informed them about the opportunities available to them in the Marine Corps’ Musician Enlistment Option Program.
Marine musicians are Marines first and have to meet the same enlistment requirements as all other Marines as well as pass a rigorous audition before being accepted into the program.
Then, they must successfully complete the Nation’s longest recruit training course and Marine Combat Training before attending the Armed Forces School of Music and being assigned to a performing Marine Band.
“It was a great opportunity for us to educate these kids on an opportunity to continue their passion for music and serve their nation at the same time,” said Staff Sgt. William Niepert, the staff noncommissioned officer in charge of Recruiting Sub-Station Newport News and a native of Mulberry Grove, Ill. “It’s not often we get an opportunity to talk to this many musicians in one place.”