Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point --
Brig. Gen. Matthew Glavy, 2nd MAW commanding general, hosted a gathering to present the members of the band with The Colonel George S. Howard Citation of Musical Excellence for Military Concert Bands, Colonel George S. Howard Citation of Musical Excellence for Military Concert Bands and the Live Performance of the Year Award.
“These awards are the culmination of many years of training that each Marine has put into their craft,” said CWO2 Demarius Jackson, the 2nd MAW band officer. “I couldn't be more proud of the hard work that everyone puts in daily towards becoming better Marines and musicians.”
According to Jackson, there are only two or three bands across the world awarded the Colonel George S. Howard citation each year. It is presented to military concert bands who have demonstrated significant high standards of musical excellence. More than 150 military bands, including all foreign military bands, are eligible for the award.
The Live Performance of the Year Award is chosen by a blind panel at Headquarters Marine Corps Music at the Pentagon. The panel includes members of "The President's Own" Marine Band in Washington, D.C. Each year, all 10 Marine Field Bands send in a recording from a live performance to the panel.
“It feels really good to see all the work we put in being recognized,” said Cpl. Camden Bettey, a clarinet player with the band. “We put in hours of rehearsal time in every day. The Marines are an amazing group of people that are dedicated to our field and put a lot of time and effort into not only being musicians but to maintain being a Marine as well. That’s one thing that I really love about our guys.”
Members of the band participate in over 200 performances annually in a vast number of locations. Performances can range from its primary ceremonial unit to other ensembles such as the Concert Band and Jazz Band.
Every member of the band must also meet and maintain all Marine Corps standards in addition to their Musical obligations. Band members must train to not only be a part of an elite fighting force, but an elite group of musical professionals.
“To be recognized by our peers both inside and outside of the military music program is further vindication of the 2nd MAW motto "second to none," said Jackson. “If I could say anything to the Marines that made this possible, it would be to continue to endeavor towards the mission statement that I put before you when I arrived..."strive daily to be a better Marine and musician."