Jason Fettig

U.S. Marine Corps Band shows a homecoming for director

New Hampshire Union Leader
October 12. 2017 9:26AM

Lt. Col. Jason K. Fettig, a Manchester native, has been director of “The President's Own” United States Marine Band since 2014. (U.S. Marine Corps /Staff Sgt. Rachel Ghadiali)
If you go...
WHAT: Two shows with "The President's Own" Marine Corps Band

WHEN & WHERE: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Concord High School and 3 p.m. Sunday in the UNH Lundholm Gym, Durham

ADMISSION: Free, tickets available at www.marineband.ticketleap.com

Manchester native Jason Fettig returns to his home state this weekend, wielding the baton for concerts of “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band in Concord and Durham.

It is the first time that Fettig, who was named band director in 2014, will be at the helm of the band when it plays in the Granite State.

“I am a little bit nervous, to be honest with you,” said Fettig, who joined the band in 1997 as a clarinetist. “It’s a good nervous.”

Fettig and his musicians must be available at a moment’s notice to perform for the President. Members of the Marine Band get a call from the White House about 200 times a year. They also play at Marine ceremonies around the Washington area.

And the 65-piece concert band also goes on tour. (Not to worry, another 55 musicians will remain in Washington, should President Trump send out the call for a soothing string quartet or a frenzied jazz combo.)

Fettig, 42, a lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps, said America thrives on a diversity of music. Jazz, folk, symphonic music, marching music, as well as a healthy dose of patriotic music. He promises a little of each during the two concerts.

“There is no substitute for live performance,” he said. “It’s a community-building experience. We have people of all ages from all walks of life: service members, veterans, music students, everyday citizens.”

The Concord event at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Concord High School, will feature trumpet soloist Master Sgt. Daniel Orban performing a Louis Armstrong tribute, a vocal piece by baritone Master Sgt. Kevin Bennear, and Toccata Marziale, which British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote for a wind band.

The Durham performance, at 3 p.m. Sunday at the University of New Hampshire’s Lundholm Gym, will include Bernstein’s “Divertimento,” traditional Irish music, and xylophonist Gunnery Sgt. Jon Bisesi leading rags by George Hamilton Green.

Fettig said he will enjoy his homecoming. In Concord, he will play at the high school where the band director, Gabe Cohen, is a former band classmate of his from Central High School in Manchester.

“I’ve lived in Washington for 20 years,” Fettig said, “but my roots are still firmly planted in New Hampshire.”

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