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Albany Marine Band farewell concert set

The Albany Marine Band performs during a 2009 ceremony at MCLB-Albany.  The band will perform its final concerts this month.

The Albany Marine Band performs during a 2009 ceremony at MCLB-Albany. The band will perform its final concerts this month.

ALBANY -- After 22 years of service, the band attached to Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany is saying good-bye.

The Albany Marine Band is performing a farewell concert at the Albany Municipal Auditorium at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The concert has been titled "Thanks for the Memories." Admission to the event will be free.

The concert will feature favorites from over the years, ranging from the group's award-winning pieces to the ones that fans have requested over the years.

Since the event falls on Valentine's Day, there will be at least one piece on the program to appeal to the lovebirds in attendance, officials say.

"The concert is a farewell to our fans," said Chief Warrant Officer Christian Flores, the band officer.

In the meantime, the band is preparing to disassemble after its Feb. 24 deactivation ceremony. This means that the band's members are gathering their personal belongings and the group is preparing to ship off its equipment to the 10 remaining Marine Corps bands.

"The most needy bands will get the first pick," said Flores.

In December, amid financial restraints, word came down from Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C., that the group would be cut along with the band stationed in Twentynine Palms, Calif. Before the cuts, there were a total of 12 bands in the Corps.

Some of the members of the Albany band have either already transitioned out or met their military obligation, with the original number of 50 members now down to 38 as of Tuesday morning.

Over the last several weeks, the remaining members have received their orders and are getting ready to transition into one of the other Marine bands, Flores said.

Flores will be serving as a training officer at the Armed Forces School of Music.

This comes on the heels of the band being recognized as the Marine Band of the Year for two years in a row. It also won the award for the best live recording of the year.

"I hope that those that have been meaning to come see us take the opportunity to see what they have been missing," Flores said of the concert.

Officials are hopeful that, while this is somewhat of a sad occasion, the band will be remembered as a valuable asset.

"We want it to be a happy occasion, but it is a bittersweet feeling," Flores said.

The band is also expected to play at its deactivation ceremony. Before that, as well as the Valentine's Day concert, the group is expected to make an appearance Saturday in downtown Albany for the decommissioning of the Broad Avenue Bridge.

The Municipal Auditorium is located at 200 N. Jackson St. For more information on Tuesday's concert, call (229) 639-5118.

Comments

waltspecht 2 years, 10 months ago

They will certainly be missed by at least one Lee County Resident. Just something about a Marine Corps Band and visions of old John Phillips Sousa. Wonder what the status of the Silent Drill Team will be?

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rock 2 years, 10 months ago

This is the base band Walt, it doesn't affect the HQMC band or silent drill team. The HQMC is formed b y kids out of college or music schools for the pomp and ceremonies of the president. This action just effects the bands in Albany and Quantico. The Silent Drill Platoon is a ceremonial platoon much the same as the HQMC band. They won't be effected at all during this as well.

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whattheheck 2 years, 10 months ago

Walt, there is the same chance the Silent Drill Team will go away as there is the Commandant will lose a star or two. You will see them this year as usual.

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pberthoty 2 years, 10 months ago

If we sit on our butts and don't do anything, the Base will be next. BRAC is raising it's ugly head this year and even though the consensus is that the Base won't be on the list, watch out! Join Jeff Sinyard, call your congressmen because if the largest employer in the Albany area goes, it will make Firestone and Coopers closing look like childs play and greatly effect our economy. Come join the Albany Marine Corps Band for their outdoor performance behind the Bridge House Ceremony dedicated to WWI veterans for the decomissioning of the Broad Ave Bridge Sat, Feb 11 at 10:45 AM.

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KaosinAlbany 2 years, 10 months ago

Why don't you start a Facebook group about saving the Marine Base? It's not that hard.

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whattheheck 2 years, 10 months ago

Well, I suggest you take the lead on an effort but it will be a lonely one for you and Jeff. After the election, one may eventually be tried--and probably should be--but it is highly unlikely anything you and other locals can do to influence it will make any difference. These decisions are made by those far beyond our pay grade and they could not care less how we feel.

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agirl_25 2 years, 10 months ago

Did you ever see them play "Georgia On My Mind"?.......they did a bang up job in Andersonville in '09 at the fair..they are fantastic!!! Mostly brass and I am telling you they will surprise you!!!

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pberthoty 2 years, 10 months ago

The Albany Marine Corps Band is one of 12 Marine Bands that play all over the country, not only in Albany. They have won Marine Corps Band of the Year for 2 years running and for that notariety, will be deactivated, along with the Marine Band at 29 Palms, Ca. How many times has the President's Own played in Albany? I just missed seeing them in October at Panama City. I don't know what you are talking about HQMC band, unless you are referring to the US Marine Corps Band. The U.S.Marine Corps Band is entirely separate from its sister military band, the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps "The Commandant's Own" and the 12 active duty Marine Corps field bands of which Albany is part of. It is commonly referred to the "Presidents Own" and they do not have to go through recruit trainng or combat as do the other bands. They are professional musicians.

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agirl_25 2 years, 10 months ago

Go to youtube.com and type in USMC Albany,GeorgiaBand and when the list pops up you will see a file listing the Albany Georgia Marine Corps band at Andersonville, Ga in October of 09. It is mostly the brass section and they are really good.

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