MarForRes Band Marches into Town
By Sgt. Pamela Shelley
| | June 15, 2004
RECRUITING STATION ALBANY, N.Y. --
The Marine Forces Reserve Band marched into town playing the sounds of John Philip Sousa for more than 30,000 Upstate New Yorkers recently. Returning to the Capital District for their fourth consecutive year, the New Orleans clan regaled various communities with concert and parade performances. The festivities commenced last Saturday with a performance by the band at Troy Music Hall, Troy, N.Y.
Playing to a packed house, the 42-member band received two standing ovations for their orchestral talents. Pieces ranging from ‘Amazing Grace’ to ‘Sing Sing Sing’ gave the audience a concise perspective of the bands diversity level.
“From the pomp and circumstance of the military numbers to toe-tapping jazz pieces, these kids can do it all,” said New Zealand native and concert spectator, Stephanie O’ Grady.
Proving their range, the Louisiana Leathernecks and Recruiting Station Albany staff led Sunday’s 2004 Troy Flag Day Parade. With more than 30,000 people lining the sidewalks, the procession is noted as the biggest Flag Day parade in the country, according to the city of Troy’s Web site. Under Drum Major Staff Sgt. Travis J. Antoine’s command, the group expertly wielded their way along the three-mile parade route. With precision that would compliment the drill and ceremonies manual, these seasoned parade veterans entertained the masses with patriotic numbers to include the Marines Hymn.
“The talent of these Marines never fails to impress me,” said Recruiting Station Albany, N.Y., Executive Officer, Capt. Michael E. Dwyer, during Sunday’s event. “ Their courtesy and professionalism to our communities is remarkable. The combination of these three traits is what makes them such a valuable asset to the recruiting arena.”
Saying goodbye to Troy, the group drove North for their final venue in Lake George, N.Y. With the concert scheduled for Monday evening, the group was able to rest and relax in the picturesque village.
“It’s a nice time of year for us to be up here,” said Antoine. “It’s getting too hot and muggy in New Orleans right now, so to be able to relax in the milder weather is definitely a welcome change.”
In anticipation of the bands visit, Lake George’s Mayor, Robert Blais, proclaimed Monday as ‘Marine Day’ in his village. He also opened the concert with kind words to community members, who filled the auditorium to capacity. Recruiters and poolees were on hand with incentive items for the audience, whilst the Event Marketing Vehicle wowed teenagers outside.
Before the concert’s commencement, Dwyer delivered the oath of enlistment to three local poolees, and publicly congratulated them for their commitment to their country. Playing the same score as the Troy concert, the band then showcased their talents for a full 90 minutes.
As the evening died down, planning for the 2005 trip here was already underway.
“We’d like to stay in Lake George longer, and perhaps do two concerts vice one,” said Antoine. “However it turns out though, we’ll definitely be back,” he said.