Marine Band San Diego working hard at playing
By Sgt. Kimberly S. Leone
| | July 12, 2002
MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif. --
A child dances along the stagefront, giggles and lands safely in his mother's arms.
Eric Ward is starting his lessons in music appreciation at a young age helped along by his patritriotic mother, Carol, and Marine Band San Diego.
Eric was among the hundreds of Independence Day celbrators who joined the band at Balboa Park July 4.
"We make the effort to go attend their performances," said Terry Sholan. "This is the only place to be on the Fourth, listening to the Marine Corps Band."
Sholan, whose daughter was incorporated into the concert, said the military element increases the sense of patriotism for her as she celebrates the Fourth of July.
Her daughter, eight-year-old Vanessa, blew the recess whistle during the band's rendition of Disney's Recess.
The members of the band devote a significant amount of their off-duty hours to entertaining members of the Depot community and San Diegans.
Just a few days before the Fourth of July, the band drew a huge crowd including more than one thousand recruits to the general's lawn for the 2002 Sunset Concert.
The event is held annually by the commanding general of MCRD San Diego to promote community relations and to enhance the patriotic loyalty and motivation of the recruits who attend.
"The band is truly amazing," said then Recruit Pete Gonzales. The new Marine graduated July 3 after attending the Sunset Concert on June 29.
"It really raised my level of patriotism and it felt very, very good to know that I am part of this now," he added.
While the majority of the audience was dressed in camouflage utilities, approximately 300 civilians and Depot personnel turned out to enjoy the band's performances of Gershwin and American Folk Rhapsody No. 3.
"This was tremendous ... beautiful," applauded retired Marine colonel, Frank Duggan, who attended the event with his wife, Linda. "The depot is a very special place and that is just emphasized and increased by events like this."
Marine Band San Diego performs regularly at graduation and morning colors ceremonies, but according to Gunnery Sgt. Michael Powell, enlisted bandleader, the band members don't get bored because they have "the best job in the world."