WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. --
The United States Marine Corps takes part in many community outreach events and programs, though arguably nothing leaves a fonder memory in the public’s mind then being present at a performance of the illustrious Marine Corps Band. Thirty-seven Marines with the Parris Island Marine Corps Band made their way to West Springfield, Mass. to perform at the 2014 Big Eastern States Exposition.
“We got to come up here to West Springfield Mass. to support the Big E festival,” said Staff Sgt. Patrick Teforg, a native of Chelmsford, Mass. “This is a huge recruiting effort. Thousands and thousands of people are here. Basically what we’re trying to do is put out the Marine Corps name and show everyone what Marines do. Marine Musicians typically travel a couple dozen times a year. We do on average 250 commitments a year overall and that’s from everything from military performances to performances like the Big E here playing for the general public.”
The band performed a few numbers for the audience, led the evening parade and sent their nine-man party band to perform around the Marine Corps booth. Parents and children alike gathered to see these musicians, dressed in their dress blues adorned by drums, trombones and other instruments as they swaggered throughout the festival.
“This is the Big Eastern State Exposition it’s like a giant fair for all of New England, there’s festivities, music, venders and state houses where you can get a little taste of each state in New England,” said Emily Lalka, a native of Summerville, Mass. “The Marine Corps band just finished performing, they were wonderful and my children immensely enjoyed it. My sons only a year-and-a-half and he was dancing along. He was really into it. It’s really amazing seeing how talented many of the Marines are and at such a young age.”
Music has been referred to as the universal language. Regardless of nationality, race, or age; music transcends all boundaries and good music even more so.
“The Big E is the the fifth largest fair in the country,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Stephen Giove, the Officer in Charge and director of the Parris Island Marine Corps Band. “We’re here on a recruiting tour. We played at a high school and did some master classes there and then we came here and played for the fair grounds and parades where there are just thousands of people moving about, for the Marines here today it’s really their chance to shine. We do this to generate exposure for the Marine Corps and generate interest in looking at the military as an option.”
Everyone enjoys a good song, but the audiences are not the only ones who enjoy the performance.
“I love performing; it’s a great feeling for me because I get to connect to the audience. I get to connect to America. I get to tell them all about the Marine Corps. Tell them what we do and how we do it and I’m very proud of that. I introduced the audience to the band earlier, explained what we do as Marines, how we stay a force in readiness, and how joining the Marine Corps is such an amazing opportunity.”