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Playing in the band

The "President's Own" United States Marine Band is coming to Buffalo for a free concert at Shea's Performing Arts Center on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The concert is sponsored by The Buffalo News.

To get you psyched, above is a clip from the band performing in 1990.

It is fun to watch first of all because of the unbelievable precision, not only of music but of marching. It is also fun for the way the music grows fainter when the band marches away from the camera and then louder as the musicians circle back.

Here they are playing the National Anthem at a burial ground.

One commenter writes: "The dead are probably all at attention and saluting."

Who doesn't love a good military band? This was my summer for military bands. I got to explore the history of Buffalo bandleader John Surra, who played in the band of John Philip Sousa and who trained many of the bands in the Buffalo area in the early part of the last century. I also got to do a story on the West Seneca Town Band.

Bands are kind of a summer subject to me and I am already looking forward to covering this beat, so to speak, next year.

Cool old pictures in this performance of "Semper Fidelis."

This year we have local talent in the Marine Band: Clarinetist Staff Sergeant Samantha Angelo is from Buffalo and graduated from Amherst Central High School. Percussionist Staff Sergeant Jonathan Bisesi graduated from Orchard Park High School.

The doors at Shea's open Saturday at 6:45. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. For info, call Shea's, 847-1410.

-- Mary Kunz Goldman

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