DOWNEY - The city's summer concert series at Furman Park ends Wednesday with a performance by the U.S. Third Marine Aircraft Wing Band.The concert starts at 7 p.m. and is free. The Third Marine Aircraft Wing Band, established for service during World War II, is one of 12 Marine Corps fleet bands. It's stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego. The band provides musical support for military units, civilian community relations, recruiting and troop morale and warfare. Band members are Marines with musically diverse backgrounds; some are recent high school graduates completing music degrees in college, and others have years of professional performance experience. When the band is deployed in support of combat operations, its primary mission is to provide security for the third Marine Aircraft Wing or any other mission directed by the commanding general. The band has deployed numerous times throughout its history. The most recent deployment was with the addition of troops to Afghanistan - band members were sent to Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan to provide tactical security. All members of the Third Marine Aircraft Wing Band are combat-trained Marines from across the United States. Annual weapons qualification ensures that Marine musicians are as proficient with weapons as they are with musical instruments. The band has performed in concert halls throughout the world, from the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa to the Hussein Palace Amphitheatre in Babylon, Iraq. The concert band performs a wide variety of music, including wind ensemble literature, Broadway show tunes, movie film scores, classical transcriptions, contemporary concert band music and traditional marches. In support of music education in schools, the band often provides educational concerts, clinics and workshops to high school and college students. The band's commanding officer is Major Gen. Thomas L. Conant and the band officer is Chief Warrant Officer 3 Edward Hayes. Hayes enlisted in the Marine Corps on June 29, 1984 and reported to Paris Island for recruit training two days after graduating high school on June 25 1985. Upon completion, he reported to the Field Radio Operator Course at Twenty-nine Palms, and was then transferred to 2nd Marine Division where he served as a field radio operator. In October of 1986, he was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division Band where he served (in an on-the-job-training status) as a saxophonist.
********** Published: August 18, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 18