Marine Band San Diego Brings Music to Campus as Part of Recruitment Tour

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The United States Marine Band San Diego performed in the Ruth Lilly Performance Hall as part of their RS Indianapolis Recruiting Tour, promising a variety of music to students, faculty, and community members who attended, according to an announcement on UIndy 360

The concert program featured performances from the band’s brass quintet, ceremonial band, rock band, jazz combo and brass band with multiple pieces played by each musical group. The rock band and ceremonial band featured UIndy alumni and Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps Logan Fox. Fox said he finished his undergraduate degree in music performance in 2017, went to graduate school at Roosevelt College, and then auditioned for the military band as a percussionist in 2020. 

“I had been wanting to do military bands for quite some time,” Fox said. “I had a friend who is now over in Cherry Point, Carolina. He’s a trombone player, and we went to grad school together. I set up an audition ironically enough here and entered into the delayed entry program, and then shipped out to boot camp in October of 2020.”

According to Fox, lots of hard work went into planning for the performances. Though he is part of the reason why the military band performed at UIndy, Fox said that through the tour, the band ultimately aims to increase awareness about opportunities in the military and, as a result, find recruits in new locations around the United States. 

“The performance tonight was the culminating event for us of about, I would say two months of work,” Fox said. “And, we had been prepping for multiple recruiting tours … These past four weeks, roughly, have been solely dedicated to the recruiting mission in the Marine Corps, as well as just building a relationship with the public that is kind of far removed from San Diego, California.”

Fox said he hopes that viewers of the performance will take away knowledge of opportunities in the Marine Corps they may not have known before. If these performances can help get a person’s wheels turning about their future, the musicians in the military band have done their job, according to Fox. 

Though Fox has several favorite memories of being in the Marines, he said performing around his hometown has made for a very special week. Fox said having those he is close with see his roots has been something he has cherished. 

“Ironically enough, this week is easily turning into the most memorable time I’ve ever had,” said Fox. “Especially getting to show people that I’m very close with, that I spend more time with than my own family, where I grew up and where I came from. It has been an absolute blessing.”

Photo by Allison Cook Sergeant Kasie Wagner sings during Marine Band San Diego’s rock band performance on March 26 in Ruth Lilly Performance Hall. The band features musical groups such as a brass quintet, ceremonial band, rock band, jazz combo and brass band.

Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps Kasie Wagner is the lead singer in Marine Band San Diego’s rock band. After taking a break when she finished attending the University of Florida for vocal performance and classical music, she said she felt called back to music and decided to audition for the Navy Band, but was persuaded to join the Marine Corps by a recruiter. 

“Music always calls you back,” said Wagner. “I ended up really wanting to continue to pursue a music career, and the Marine Corps provided me with that.”

Wagner said that the Marine Band San Diego has a long history of tradition. According to Wagner, being a part of several events as musicians can go unnoticed at times, but it plays a very vital role in several ceremonies and customs. 

“You could call us almost like ‘the keepers of tradition,’” said Wagner. “We’re a part of a lot of the traditions that are seen in the Marine Corps such as relief and appointments, change of commands and the cake-cutting ceremony for our Marine Corps birthday.”

Wagner hopes that others will take notice of the chances that the Marines can provide, especially musicians. She said there is a large span of musical opportunities for those involved. 

Fox said the Marine Corps can align with someone’s goals and dreams, even if it is in the performing arts. There’s a lot of traveling, chances to see several different things, community outreach and ways to learn different genres of music for those involved in the military bands according to Wagner. 

“We’re the number one in the world of employing musicians. So, it’s a big thing,” said Wagner. “If you have a love of music, it’s kind of hard you know … it’s a smaller field. Nowadays, there’s a lot of good players. But with the Marine Corps or any other military branch, they provide a lot of security while also pursuing what you love.”

Freshman studio art major Sophie Tintera attended the performance on March 26 and said she enjoyed every minute of the show. They said they wanted to get up and start dancing, as she loved the event so much. Tintera said that she knew the military performed music as she has family in the military but learned from the production more about the performing arts in the military. 

“I didn’t know about the rock band. When they started singing. I was astounded,” Tintera said. “That was so amazing. I didn’t know that they went around and did concerts like this. I found out about this one last minute, even, and I am so glad I came.”

Tintera said that from the performance, they hope people will become more open-minded to opportunities in the military. It is a great thing that those in the Marines, as well as other military branches, can pursue what they love while serving their country, according to Tintera. 

“When you think of the military or the Marines, you think of war, or fighting … You don’t think of how these are real people,” said Tintera. “They got majors in music and music could be their passion, and they want to continue that, and they can in the military. That’s such an amazing thing that they can do both at the same time.”Marine Band San Diego’s midwest tour ended March 29, with the final performance at North Vermillion High School, but more information about upcoming events and recruitment can be found on their website and social media.

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