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.