Ridgeland, S.C. -- The Parris Island Marine Band performed during a military appreciation football game at the Justin M. Heyward Academy in Ridgeland, S.C., Sept. 5.
The band performed a mixture of military marching music with precise drill movements. At the end of the 19th century, professional concert bands were on the rise, touring constantly, and playing not just marches, but everything from popular songs to opera or concert-music pieces. As time passed, the United States’ military bands have kept that tradition of band music alive.
“Performing in events at schools for young students is always impactful, especially at a time where many schools are unfortunately putting music and arts programs aside due to dwindling budgets,” said Gunnery Sgt. David Wilson, the drum major for the Parris Island Marine Band. “Coming out here and performing for younger generations can instill the desire to pursue music, or even join the military. Through our music we can stand as a symbol for both the arts and the Corps.”
In addition to playing at approximately 40 recruit graduations each year, the band also performs concerts and parades across the United States, according to the Parris Island Marine Band’s website.
“I was in the University of South Carolina Marching Band for two years and continued to perform on several national sports league marching bands thereafter,” said Charles Buckwitter, a retired snare drum musician. “I have performed alongside some of the best, but nothing compares to seeing these young men and women play. I plan on seeing them again in the future and can’t wait to hear them perform in an actual concert. They were simply amazing.”
A final salute to the armed forces recognized service of members from all branches in the audience. The band then brought the performance to an end with the Marine Corps Hymn and a reenactment of the flag raising over Iwo Jima.