Sept. 15, 2015 --
Every Friday night during the summer, after the evening
colors are lowered, a spotlight shines upon a lone bugler on the roof of Marine
Barracks Washington, D.C. As taps sounds you can feel the somber music take
hold of the audience. This lone Marine is the ceremonial bugler.
As a ceremonial bugler for the United States Marine Drum and
Bugle Corps, Staff Sgt. Codie Williams is one of many individuals who plays a key
role in funerals and various formal events such as the Evening and Sunset
Parades. In these events she will sound the various bugle calls, including Officer’s
Call and Taps.
“It’s a very humbling feeling,” said Williams.
At a young age, Williams had a passion for music. She was
persuaded into playing the trumpet by her parents who played the same
instrument she performs with today. From there, she continued to perform at
churches and joined the band during her high-school years in Dallas, Tx.
“I was going to play the clarinet,” said Williams. “It’s
really ironic, because if I had played the clarinet I really wouldn’t be here.”
Williams originally aspired to pursue the intelligence field
upon enlisting into the Marine Corps. Once discovering her musical background, her
recruiter suggested that she audition for a position in the fleet bands. Upon
successfully completing the audition, she was offered the opportunity to join
the “Commandant’s Own.” She accepted that same day and left for basic training
several weeks later.
To audition for any
musician positions in the Marine Corps such as the D&B and the band, one
can simply request to do so with a Marine recruiter who will then contact specialized
Marines who examine to individual’s performance. A various amount of scales as
well as prepared pieces are performed during the audition. Upon successfully
completing the audition, a score is given, and that score is used to determine
placement and unit assignment throughout the Marine Corps.
The D&B practices all throughout the year. During the
winter months, they travel to Yuma, Ariz. to learn and perfect their music in
motion performance for the year. After this they perform at various Marine
Corps installations and public venues across the US during their West and East
Coast tours with the Battle Color Detachment. Then they travel back to Marine Barracks
Washington, D.C., and prepare for the parade season.
With this year’s Parade season over, the Drum and Bugle
Corps has begun preparing for next year’s show, as well as various other
ceremonial commitments. And with next year’s show on the horizon, we can only expect
bigger and better things from Williams and the rest of the D&B.