President’s Own marine band performing in Clovis

Courtesy photo The President’s Own Marine Band will perform Saturday night at Marshall Middle School. The show is expected to include solos and full ensemble music.

Sharna Johnson

Saturday, local residents will have a rare opportunity to see the most distinguished of U.S. military bands perform a free concert at Marshall Middle School.

The President’s Own United States Marine Band will perform in Clovis as part of its southwest tour.

Approached by tour organizers who wanted to stop in Clovis en route as they travel from Lubbock to Albuquerque, Clovis High School Music Director Alan Dropps said the community is lucky to have them perform.

“They’re world class,” he said. “We don’t get this caliber of performing group very often.”

The free concert will be conducted by about 70 of the band’s 140 musicians, said spokeswoman Gunnery Sgt. Kristen Mergen.

The event is sponsored by Clovis Municipal Schools music program, Tarpley’s Music and the Clovis News Journal.

Considered the premier band of some 20 Marine bands scattered worldwide, Mergen said the band, based out of Washington D.C., has the unique mission of performing for the president and Marine Corps commandant.

Mergen said the band does up to 400 performances per year, including inaugurations, ceremonies and White House events, funerals at Arlington Cemetery and more.

“It’s very possible that we won’t be back to the Clovis area for five to 10 years so this is a rare opportunity,” Mergen said, explaining Defense Department bands alternate through five touring regions each year.

Attendees can expect a show filled with patriotic music, marches and more.

She said there is something for everybody.

The band’s finale is an armed forces medley during which audience members who have served in the military can stand while their branch’s respective song is played.

Mergen said the medley is a favorite for audiences.

“It’s a nice conclusion like that to end with an armed forces medley. It just brings it, hands down,” she said. “It really leaves people feeling a warm fuzzy.”

Mergen said through conversations with Dropps band tour organizers have learned Clovis has a strong music appreciation and fosters youth music programs, something that further excites them about being able to bring their show to the community,

“It was a surprise to see how supportive the community was to music education,” she said. “I was blown away and really impressed and pleased that we could perform for such an enthusiastic community.”

Mergen said tickets have been going fast so a good crowd is expected at the show.

The show begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Marshall Auditorium and attendees must be seated by 7:15 p.m.

Information: 769-4350.