Bayonets and Brass: Silent Drill Platoon and Marine Corps Band Brass Choir Visit Kentucky; Wow Crowds at Great American Brass Band Festival

Great American Brass Band Festival 2011

Danville, Kentucky; June 11, 2011: Thousands of spectators attending the 22nd Annual Great American Brass Band Festival in this beautiful small college town were treated to an unusual experience: the sound of silence amidst a diversity of brass musical performances. Coupled with the Marine Band Brass Choir ("The President's Own"), the Silent Drill Platoon represented the Marine Corps with professionalism and pride, in two separate performances: an afternoon exhibition before a near capacity crowd at the Centre College football stadium and a stunning evening appearance on the green, surrounded by spectators sitting in lawn chairs and standing among stately trees. The precision of the evening performance was climaxed by an hour long concert by the Marine Band Brass Choir, which brought veterans and family members to their feet with a musical tribute to the Battle of Iwo Jima and a stirring medley of military anthems, concluded with the "Marines' Hymn," as only the Marine Band can play it. Although the members of these showcase Marine units hail from throughout our nation, they were indeed "Kentucky Marines" on this glorious day, as they were welcomed by local Marines and friends of the Corps in the Danville area. Throughout the day, Marine veterans from World War II to Afghanistan, as well as active duty Marines and delayed entry Marine recruits, could be seen walking the festival grounds in anticipation of the Marine Corps related performances, honoring the life and music of the legendary John Philip Sousa, who directed the Marine Band from 1880 to 1892. The Marine Corps community in Kentucky is proud to have welcomed both the Marine Band Brass Choir and the Silent Drill Platoon to our commonwealth and is grateful to Mr. Gary W. Barkman (Commandant) and Mr. Neal M. Gordon, Jr. (Past Commandant), Marine Corps League, William B. Baugh Medal of Honor Detachment #1052 (Danville), as well as Ms. Lynn Taylor Tye, Finance Manager, The Prebyterian Church (Danville), proud mother of an active duty Marine Corps officer, for their outstanding hospitality in representing all of us in hosting a delicious barbeque dinner for both the Marine Band Brass Choir and the Silent Drill Platoon. Special thanks also to the Marine Corps Recruiting Station Louisville, which participated in the Great American Brass Band Festival Parade with its impressive Marine Corps "Hummer" vehicle. (Photo by Clay Jackson, Chief Photographer, Advocate-Messenger, Danville, Kentucky)