Photo Information

Sgt. Jerry M. Williams, a musician with the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Band, stands in formation and prepares to march in the 55th annual Pegasus Parade in downtown Louisville, Ky., April 29. The parade marked the final performance of the band in the Louisville region in support of festivities for the Kentucky Derby.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Brian Adam Jones

2nd MAW Band visits Louisville Ky. for Derby Week

4 May 2010 | Lance Cpl. Brian Adam Jones

Thousands of spectators cheered as a few dozen Marines marched down Broadway in Louisville, Ky., April 29.

The 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing band performed at the 55th annual Pegasus Parade in downtown Louisville, one out of seven events they participated in to celebrate Kentucky Derby Week.

As the Marines played their cherished anthem, “The Marine’s Hymn,” from their sparkling instruments, nothing could distract them; not spectators, parade floats, or high school marching bands.

“Trips like these give us an opportunity to give people a face to the Marine Corps,” said Sgt. Jerry M. Williams, a trumpet player for the band. “I love being a Marine and I cherish the opportunity to be an ambassador for the Marines.”

The trip featured two concert band performances, one at Larry A. Ryle High School in Union, Ky., and the other just across the Ohio River from Louisville at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, Ind.

The performances had an emphasis on patriotism.

“The public expects a certain amount of duty and responsibility to portray patriotism,” said Gunnery Sgt. Victor D. Miranda, the drum major for the band.

The concert band featured pieces composed by John Philip Sousa, the legendary Marine composer, a trumpet solo by Williams, and a vocal solo by Gunnery Sgt. Jeremy Frank to honor those who gave their lives for their country.

Marine veteran and Union, Ky. resident, Darren W. Millson, was in attendance at the concert band performance at Larry A. Ryle High School, April 26. The former drill instructor said it was important for his son to see the band play.

“I want to bolster his sense of patriotism,” Millson said, “to show him things about the Marines that I didn’t even know existed when I was in.”

Millson’s son wasn’t the only person in the Louisville region who learned new things about the Marine Corps from the band’s trip.

The 2nd MAW party band performed on the waterfront in downtown Louisville, April 28, at the Fest-a-ville, a festival part of the Kentucky Derby celebrations.

The party band played near Lauren N. Hendricks, a women sitting at a picnic table enjoying the festivities.

Hendricks quickly found herself the recipient of a personal concert by nine Marines wearing sunglasses and blue dress “D” uniforms.

“This is great,” Hendricks said. “I had no idea the Marines did stuff like this.”

The 55th annual Pegasus Parade marked the end of a six-day trip to the region, featuring seven performances. The 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Band left May 1, and bid farewell to Kentucky for another year.

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point