AMHERST, Mass. – For the first time in 5 years, “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, led by Col. Jason Fettig, will return to UMass Amherst on Saturday, October 22 at 7:30 p.m. as part of their current Northeast Circuit. The concert, which will take place at the Frederick C. Tillis Performance Hall, is free and open to the public. Tickets can be reserved in advance by visiting the Center for Fine Arts box office or by calling 413-545-2511 (limit of 4 tickets per request). The Marine Band’s appearance at UMass is sponsored by the Department of Music and Dance and UMass Center for Fine Arts.
The Marine Band is the oldest active professional music organization in America. Founded in 1798, the band has played for every US president since John Adams. Known as “The President’s Own” since the days of Thomas Jefferson, the Marine Band’s mission is to provide music for the President of the United States and the Commandant of the Marine Corps.
Colonel Fettig earned a BM in Clarinet Performance from UMass in 1997 and a second BM in Music Education with a specialization in Orchestral Conducting in 1998. His main teachers were Malcolm W. Rowell, Michael Sussman and Mark Russell Smith . The concert marks Fettig’s second performance at his alma mater since being named director of the US Marine Band in 2014. The band also includes two natives of Western Massachusetts – Master Sgts. David Jenkins ’96 (saxophone) from Williamstown and William Bernier (clarinet) from Easthampton.
Fettig has programmed musical selections in the style of the band’s 17th manager, John Philip Sousa, who started the tradition of concert tours in 1891. Viewers can expect a mix of works including traditional band repertoire, marches by Sousa, contemporary compositions, vocal and instrumental solos and a patriotic salute to the armed forces. During the show, Music and Dance Department Director and Wind Studies Director Matthew Westgate will be invited to conduct one of the group’s program works.
“We have extremely appreciative patrons who come to Marine Band concerts for all types of different experiences, so our programs are designed to include a wide variety of music that reflects the wonderful diversity of our nation’s musical heritage,” Fettig said. .
The Frederick C. Tillis Performance Hall is located in the Randolph W. Bromery Center for the Arts, 151 Presidents Drive, Amherst MA. Free, secure parking is available in the university’s lot 71 near Massachusetts Avenue and lot 62 via Thatcher Way or Stockbridge Road.
Visit the Palace of Fine Arts website for more information or see the UMass Interactive Parking Map. All visitors must follow safety protocols established by UMass and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Note: Spaces are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Ticket holders must be seated by 7:15 p.m.; non-ticket holders will be admitted at this time.