Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46Our Inspiring Encounter with “The President’s Own” By YM/ GySgt Kalista Base Eagle (CA) As my sister and I pulled up to the Barracks Annex gate,we no- ticed the statue of John Philip Sousa (1854-1932), one of the most famous conductors and band composers of all time, that stood in front of the build- ing. We entered the gate, and a tall Marine came around the corner. The Executive Assistant to the Director, Lieutenant Colonel John R. Barclay, greeted us and invited us inside. The building was full of amaz- ing pictures, paintings and showcases. Fortunately for us, Lt Col Barclay took the time to tell us about each display. As we walked through the halls, we were asked if we wanted to listen to the band’s practice. “Of course,” my sister and I responded. We made our way back down to the first floor through large wooden doors into a beautiful bright hall where the band practiced. This was their first performance of a new piece recently received. It sounded perfect! We were so in awe, I could listen to them all day. After listening to the band, we went down- stairs where they kept every single piece of music. My sister asked for pieces of music and a Marine disappeared in the aisles of sheets of papers, coming out with the piece she asked for. We walked over to bul- letproof cases where one of the Marines and the Lt Col pulled out all the books where every day of every year is recorded, dating all the way back to the first day the Marine Corps Band was created.Every detail is recorded--what they performed,where they performed, the weather, the time and, of course, the date.It was interest- ing to see how dif- ferent handwriting over time changes. It was much neater than the way we write today. After we put the books away, we found an old box. The Lt Col told one of the Marines to do the honor of opening it and taking out the Marine Corps’ wand that every conduc- tor of the Marine Corps band had used, including John Philip Sousa! The wand was only to be held with gloves on, never to be picked up with bare hands. This wand to me rep- resented the amount of respect there was and still is for the United States Marine Corps. The historical item was handled respectfully and with honor. Next, we stopped upstairs to the offices where we meet all the Marines who keep the operation run- ning. It was an honor to meet all the wonderful Ma- rines. They told us how proud they were of us and to keep up the good work. It really motivated me and gave me good thoughts about my future. After stop- ping by every office, it was time to leave. We took the elevator down where there was a lonely sock and the Lt Col said, “Look, someone was doing their laundry.” When the elevator doors opened, we saw Marines holding all their laundry in their arms. Once we walked to the front door,we took a picture with the Lt Col and said our goodbyes. He said “It was an honor to meet you girls and I hope you keep up the good work.” These words motivate me to do my very best and strive for the goal and honor to be the next Harpist for “The President’s Own.” Viewing the gallery of historical performances. Detailed information about every Marine Corps Band performance has been carefully documented for posterity. The bench at the memorial of composer John Philip Sousa. ESPRIT ONLINE | Page 38