Reviews of the July 12 concert featuring Williams conducting the Marine Band in Washington, D.C. are available on the Washington Post and the Marine Corps website. The concert included music from Catch Me If You Can, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Star Wars…
Here’s an excerpt of the Washington Post review:
Under the composer’s baton, Marine Band musicians displayed their prowess in solos and impeccable intonation in sectional solos throughout the all-Williams concert, which featured the world premiere of several pieces, originally scored for orchestra, in transcriptions for concert band. From “Olympic Fanfare and Theme” to “Suite From JFK, ” the band’s precise articulation and dynamic flexibility delighted Williams, whose arms swooped and danced, his left fist accentuating rests during syncopated rhythms.
Three bandsmen joined Williams center stage for the premiere band performance of “Escapades for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra” from Catch Me if You Can. Staff Sgt. Gregory Ridlington whipped through his memorized sax part as Gunnery Sgt. Glenn Paulson gave chase on vibraphone. Gunnery Sgt. Glenn Dewey kept time on string bass as the band snapped and ripped through unison jazz licks.
Imbued with subdued sentiment for “Theme From Schindler’s List,” the band became a reflective accompanist for Master Sgt. Peter Wilson’s impassioned violin solo.
The evening could not end without a few Williams classics. “Raider’s March” from Raiders of the Lost Ark and a suite from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial preceded a lengthy but welcome encore, including a virtuosic woodwind selection from the Harry Potter films followed by the theme from Star Wars. Williams ended the concert appropriately with a rousing medley of military songs.
The second review can be found below:
|U.S. Marine Band Celebrates 205th Anniversary with World-Renowned Composer John Williams
Submitted by: Marine Band
Story Identification #: 200371682546
Story by U.S. Marine Band Public AffairsMarine Barracks, Washington, D.C. (July 16, 2003) — “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band celebrated its 205th Anniversary in a concert hosted by the 33rd Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Michael W. Hagee, Saturday, July 12 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. To honor this special occasion, famed Academy Award-winning composer John Williams guest conducted the Marine Band.
“We were thrilled to work with Mr. Williams on this anniversary concert, a performance that honored our 205-year history of performing for the president and the American public,” Marine Band Director Colonel Timothy W. Foley said. “Without a doubt, Mr. Williams is the most popular and successful American composer/conductor of the 20th century, and no musician since John Philip Sousa has enjoyed such widespread success and acclaim.”
The program Williams chose highlighted his award-winning career as music director for more than 80 films, and demonstrated the stellar musicianship of the Marines in “The President’s Own.” Selections included: The Cowboys Overture, Olympic Fanfare and Theme, Escapades for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra from Catch Me If You Can, Theme from Schindler’s List, Raiders March from Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Adventures on Earth from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
During the first of four encores, Williams and the band surprised the audience with Nimbus 2000 from the film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and followed up with the Main Title from Star Wars, which drew the evening’s loudest applause. After joking with the audience that the concert’s length had probably caused most to miss the evening news, he led the band in the Mission Theme (Theme from NBC News). Williams then closed the concert with the Armed Forces Medley.
“I am so pleased and privileged to have been invited to conduct our oldest instrumental ensemble in North America,” Williams told the audience of nearly 2,500. “My father, who was a professional musician, always imparted the idea that the maximum quality of wind and brass playing in our country was the U.S. Marine Band–so it was then, and so it is today. This tradition is in the capable hands, the nurturing hands, of each man and woman up here.”
The Marine Band is America’s oldest professional musical organization. Founded in 1798, the band has performed for every U.S. President since John Adams. Given the title “The President’s Own” by Thomas Jefferson, the Marine Band’s primary mission is to provide music for the President of the United States and the Commandant of the Marine Corps. For more information, please visit www.marineband.usmc.mil.