As part of its 2018 national concert tour, “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band will perform at Braden Auditorium on the campus of Illinois State University on Friday, October 26, 2018, at 7:30 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public and sponsored by the College of Fine Arts and The Pantagraph.

Free tickets are available (limit four per request) by visiting The President’s Own website. Tickets are general admission and seating will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Ticket holders must be seated by 7:15 p.m. as non-ticket holders will be admitted at that time.

In the style of the band’s 17th director, John Philip Sousa, who initiated the concert tour tradition in 1891, Marine Band Director Col. Jason K. Fettig has chosen a diverse mix of programs—from traditional band repertoire and Sousa marches to instrumental solos and a salute to the Armed Forces.

“We always try to highlight music on our programs that celebrates the region we are visiting, whether it be marches that provide a connection or folk music that might be associated with certain areas of the country,” Colonel Fettig said. “We have tremendously appreciative patrons who come to Marine Band concerts for all types of different experiences, so our programs are designed to include a great variety of music that mirrors the wonderful diversity in our national musical heritage.”

After Sousa left the Marine Band in 1892, “The President’s Own” made only five tours—1901, 1907, 1911, 1912, and 1915—before traveling yearly between 1920 and 1931. The band suspended its tours during the Depression years of 1932–1934, but took to the road again in 1935 and continued until 1942. During World War II, the band played many additional performances in Washington, D.C., and at the White House to boost wartime morale. The Marine Band’s national concert tours resumed in 1946 and have continued every year since. 2018 marks the Marine Band’s 100th national concert tour.

By the end of the tour, the Marine Band will have traveled 5,882 miles throughout the United States, performing 29 concerts in 12 states, with stops in Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

For their Normal, Illinois concert, Illinois State University Assistant Professor and Director of Bands Anthony C. Marinello will guest conduct Percy Grainger’s Children’s March, “Over the Hills and Far Away.”

The Marine Band is America’s oldest continuously active professional musical organization. Founded in 1798, the band has performed for every United States 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.