View Full Version : Marines bring patriotic tunes to Bowl

08-04-06, 08:23 AM
Marines bring patriotic tunes to Bowl
C.L. LOPEZ , Staff Writer
Redlands Daily Facts

The Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Band filled the Redlands Bowl with a spirit of patriotism Tuesday.

Songs of Americana were performed with a vigor and energy that brought the capacity crowd to its feet and at times had others dancing in front of the stage.

The 51 marines are trained riflemen who serve as perimeter security/machine gun platoon during times of war. But during Tuesdays concert, they proved to be talented musicians as well.

The concert opened with the National Anthem, during which the audience stood in honor. Fifteen songs later, the audience was again on its feet in a standing ovation after the final song. The band, masterfully guided by CWO5 Robert Jacob and Assistant Director SSgt. Joel Daniel, kept the audience entertained. The concert was also a history lesson- before each song, Band Master Sgt. Grady May spoke about the story behind each song. Each song had a historical relevance to the Marine Corps.

"National Emblem" had shades of the National Anthem, but it was "Americans We" which seemed to heighten the already energetic mood. "Melody Shop" showcased the band's euphonium section, including the performance of Cpl. Christopher Forkner.

After intermission, spirits continued to soar with "Circus Days" and "Sing Sing Sing," which prompted two audience members to stand up and dance.

It was shortly followed up by a crowd favorite- was an energetic performance by the Combat Center Drum Line. The drummers stood at center stage and showcased their skills and rhythm moving to the beats of their own drums.

The band showed a modern flare with their performance of music from the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean."

But overall, the feel of the concert left the audience with an overwhelming sense of national pride.

During one of the final numbers, the Armed Services Medley, the band performed the medley from each branch of the armed forces. Members of the audience who served in the armed forces stood when the medley for each of their respective branches was performed. It was an emotional moment as the Marine band and thousands of people at the Bowl paid tribute to the veterans.

E-mail Staff Writer C.L. Lopez at clopez@redlandsdailyfacts.com.


08-04-06, 08:24 AM
Redlands Marine has a homecoming at the Bowl
C.L. LOPEZ , Staff Writer
Redlands Daily Facts

REDLANDS - When 51 Marines took to the stage of the Redlands Bowl Tuesday night, it was a homecoming for Cpl. Ray Garcia.

It wasn't the first time the 19-year-old performed at the Bowl. He was a drum major at Redlands High School.

"I have played at the Bowl before, but I never really thought I would be performing with the Marine band," he said.

Garcia was one of eight trumpeters in the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Band, based in Twentynine Palms.

It was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.

"I always knew I was going to be in the Marines," he said. "I always wanted to be in the band and now I am in it,"

His mother, Sylvia Garcia, vividly recalls the day she took her son to a parade celebrating the end of Operation Desert Storm.

Garcia was a toddler when he saw the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Band performing and wanted to be one of them.

"I was really inspired when I saw that," he said.

He told his parents he wanted to play an instrument. His father suggested he play the trumpet. He began to play in the third grade. He later toured with the Impulse Drum and Bugle Corps based in Cerritos and belonged to the East Valley Young Marines. Now he helps train Young Marines.

For his Sylvia, seeing her son perform was a moment of pride.

The family tries to attend all of his local performances with the band.

"For my dad, to be able to attend was amazing," said Sylvia. "He has been really sick and we didn't think he was going to make it to the concert - he was determined."

During the concert, Master Sgt. Grady May told the audience about Garcia's dream. Grady performed in the band that Garcia saw when he was a child.

"Now we are working together and he has fulfilled a lifelong dream," Grady said.

People congratulated Sylvia during intermission and after the concert.

"He is so young and to see he has come this far earning people's respect is awesome," she said. "It is a moment a parent can never describe in words - it leaves us speechless. It is like the day he was born."

Sylvia said her son's next dream is to get into the Commandant's Own, the U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps.

"With that dream my son has and how he puts forth his respect and loyalty, I don't see that far from happening," she said.

E-mail Staff Writer C.L. Lopez at clopez@redlandsdailyfacts.com