News Release| CSULA; United States Marine Band Concert

Note to editors and news directors: 

To arrange interviews prior to the event with U.S. Marine Band members Richard Dickerson, Tessa Gross and John Mula, or to request a media pass to the concert, contact the CSULA Public Affairs in advance at (323) 343-3050 by email (see above).

To request advance photos or for access to take film or photograph the concert, contact the Marine Band Public Affairs in advance at (202) 433-5809 or [email protected]


U.S. Marine Band’s first duty in SoCal:

free concert at Cal State L.A., Oct. 23

 ‘The President’s Own’ at Luckman Theatre to play

Handel, DeLuca, ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ and, of course, 3 by Sousa

Los Angeles, CA — The United States Marine Band—known traditionally as “The President’s Own”—will launch the Southern California leg of its 2009 national tour with a free public concert Friday, Oct. 23, at 7:30 p.m., in the Luckman Theatre at California State University, Los Angeles.

A limit of four tickets are available per request. For details or to reserve tickets, call (323) 343-6600, go to, or visit the Luckman Box Office at Cal State L.A. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Ticket holders must arrive early and be seated by 7:15 p.m.; at 7:15, “standby” non-ticket holders will be admitted as space allows.

The band’s legendary 17th director, John Philip Sousa, initiated the concert tour tradition in 1891. The band, now directed by Colonel Michael J. Colburn, will offer traditional band repertoire, solos, opera and marches. For the Cal State L.A. concert, the selections will include a suite from Sergei Prokofief’s Romeo and Juliet, Joseph De Luca’s “Beautiful Colorado” (with a euphonium solo), a baritone rendering of George Frideric Handel’s “Arm, Arm, Ye Brave” from Judas Maccabeaus, and three Sousa compositions—including the national march of the United States, “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” There will also be a salute to the U.S. Armed Forces.

The concert is cosponsored by Cal State L.A. and its Department of Music.

“It’s an honor to host ‘The President’s Own,’” said George DeGraffenreid, chair of the Department of Music at Cal State L.A. “The U.S. Marine Band only tours the West Coast every few years. So this is a great opportunity for our students—and for the community—to experience not only a rich tradition, but also a free performance by some world-class musicians. After all, this IS the ‘house band’ for THE White House.”

The Marine Band is America’s oldest continuously active professional musical organization. Founded in 1798, the band has performed for every U.S. president except George Washington.  Known as “The President’s Own” since the days of Thomas Jefferson, the Marine Band’s primary mission is to provide music for the President of the United States and the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Performing for South Lawn arrival ceremonies, State Dinners, dances, solo concerts and other events, the band’s members perform more than 300 times a year at the White House. 

According to First Lady Michelle Obama, “The Marine Band has been just a tremendous resource for us. They have such great range. They can play everything from jazz to country, and they’ve made every event at the White House a special one.”

Several of the band’s roughly 60 members hail from California, including oboe/English-horn player Tessa Gross of Santa Monica, cornet/trumpet player Jeffrey Strong of Fresno, euphonium players Matthew Summers of Palo Alto and Ryan McGeorge of San Diego, stage manager Richard Dickerson of Woodland Hills, and stage crewman Louis Hill of Los Angeles. (Clarinetist John Mula of Illinois is a graduate of San Diego State University.) For a list of band members, go to

By early November, the Marine Band will have performed a total of 29 concerts in 31 days on its 2009 tour. This year’s tour route takes the band through Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, and southern Nevada. After Cal State L.A., its Southland stops include Pasadena (Oct. 24), Oxnard (Oct. 25), UCLA (Oct. 26), San Diego (Oct. 28) and Imperial (Oct. 29).  For a complete tour schedule and other details, visit

For directions to the CSULA campus, go to Concert parking will be free in the upper level of Parking Structure C. For the Luckman Fine Arts Complex web site, go to

Who:                    “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band will perform at the Luckman Theatre on the Cal State L.A. campus, as part of its 2009 national concert tour.

What:                  Advance tickets are available (at a maximum of 4 tickets per request). Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Ticket holders must arrive early and be seated by 7:15 p.m.; at that time, “standby” non-ticket holders will be admitted as space allows.

When:                  Friday, Oct. 23, 7:30 p.m.

Where:                 Luckman Theatre, on the Cal State L.A. campus. The University is near the junction of the 10 and 710 freeways.

(Map and directions:

Info:                      Free to the public. For tickets, visit or call the Luckman Box Office at (323) 343-6600.

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Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 210,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six Colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to a unique university center for gifted students as young as 12. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH- and Rockefeller-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.