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Music in Abilene

By Joe Starkey



The President’s Own – the Marine Corp Band performed for a large crowd at the HSU Behrens Hall. They tour a different region of the United States each year and this was Abilene’s year. It will be three more years before this opportunity returns here. Before ignoring “just a military band”, you should look at how these musicians are chosen. First each member must audition and only if selected are they allowed to enlist for “service with the Marine Corp Band only.” Better than 60% of the band members have advanced degrees in Music before joining and many have both a Doctorate and have been faculty members at a college or university such as the flute soloist who is serving as a Staff Sergeant.{{more}}For their finale, they played the songs of all the services and asked for people to stand for their service if they had served or if a family member had. It was not amazing to see almost one U.S. Marine Band member playing the piccolo. Photo by Joe Starkey. quarter of the crowd stand for the Air Force Song but to see even more stand for the Army Song was. Navy and Marine come from everywhere so the number standing was expected. What was unexpected were the single person standing for the Coast Guard and the one lady who stood for every Service but the Coast Guard. She told me she had family members that served in each and several who were career members.The last two weeks have been almost continuous performances at HSU with all of the major band, symphony, jazz, Cowboy Band groups playing their holiday performances and many of the students giving recitals for grades and even to complete for scholarships for future semesters.Whatever type of music you enjoy is available at the schools and universities of Abilene. Call them up and ask for information and go enjoy.

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