On Tuesday, September 16, the U.S. Marine Band’s historian, Gunnery Sergeant Kira Wharton, will deliver an Overbeck History Lecture on the renowned band’s origins at the end of the 18th century and its long and colorful history in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.
Known as “the President’s Own,” the Marine Band is America’s oldest continuously active professional musical organization and has performed for every U.S. president since John Adams. With its unique mission to provide music for the President and the Commandant of the Marine Corps, it has grown from a handful of fifers and drummers to one of the premiere musical organizations in the world, with more than 150 musicians and support staff.
A highly skilled musician in her own right with a doctorate in musical arts from the University of Iowa, GySgt Wharton joined the Marine Band as a librarian in 2003, with duties including the preparation of music for performances by the band and the Marine Chamber Orchestra. She was appointed assistant chief in 2008 and historian in 2013.
The lecture, which will include musical samplings from the band’s storied past, is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Naval Lodge Hall at 330 Pennsylvania Avenue S.E. As always, admission is free but a reservation is required due to limited seating. Please contact OverbeckLecture@CapitolHillHistory.org and indicate how many seats you will need.