"Commandant's Own" hits the road with brand new show

28 Feb 2006 | Cpl. David Revere

“The Commandant’s Own,” the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, premiered its 2006 season of “Music in Motion” here, Tuesday. The presentation is part of the Marine Corps Battle Color Detachment which also includes the United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon and the Color Guard from Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., “the Oldest Post of the Corps.” “Our Marines are getting better and better,” said Maj. Brent Harrison, Drum and Bugle Corps commanding officer. “I don’t think I could have performed at their level when I first came in.” Harrison, who joined the D&B as a percussionist in 1979, said he is looking forward to a standout year from a unit that has continued to raise the bar of military musical excellence since its founding in 1949. Among the surprises awaiting audiences this year is an original composition entitled “For the Color” by D&B’s musical director, Chief Warrant Officer Brian Dix. Traditional military bugle calls resonate throughout the piece, which honors the military heritage of bugles since they were adopted by the Marine Corps as an official form of communication in 1891. Dix said the arrangement was composed to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Marine Corps’ oldest continuously manned post, the Latrobe Gate of the Washington Navy Yard. “Knowing all of the work that’s gone into this song, from writing to marching to practicing it, it’s rewarding for me to perform it and see the audience’s positive response,” said Cpl. James Foley, a soprano bugler. Look for his impressive solo during the piece.With 13-hour practice days for the past three weeks, the “Commandant’s Own” knows about dedication to excellence. “They always rise to the occasion,” said Master Sgt. Kevin Buckles, D&B assistant drum major. “It’s great just to see how the Marines take their music and run with it. That dedication is what sets us apart from other musical organizations.”According to Foley, another way his unit stands out is through its diversity.“I love the wide variety of styles portrayed by our unit,” said Foley. “I love being able to entertain and inspire people. There’s something for everybody in our shows.”From inspirational classics to rock-and-roll beats, D&B takes variety seriously – as exemplified by another arrangement sure to please audiences this year, an entertaining medley from Jonathan Larson’s Tony award-winning musical, “Rent.” Fans will be delighted to recognize the songs, “La Vie Boheme,” “Tango: Maureen” and “Seasons of Love.”“Whenever we put together a show, we want it to be traditionally American in style,” said Harrison. “We want to entertain and inspire pride everywhere we go.”The “Commandant’s Own” will present “Music in Motion” at numerous events both nationally and internationally throughout 2006. For more program information and a schedule of events, visit drumcorps.mbw.usmc.mil.