Marine Corps disbands two field bands

Marine Corps Combat Center Band in Idyllwild. File photo

"They’ve played seven of our 12 seasons,” said Idyllwild Summer Concert Series (ISCS) promoter Ken Dahleen, “and this will be their last.” Dahleen referred to the very popular Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Band stationed in 29 Palms that has, with great appreciation from locals, closed many successful summer seasons.

It appears, according to Dahleen, that the 29 Pines Combat Center Band and one in Atlanta, two of the 12 Marine Corps field bands, will be disbanded for budgetary reasons.

Combat Center Bandmaster Eric T. Howell confirmed that the band was facing disbandment, but was uncertain how long that would take to play out. “It could be six months or two years,” said Howell, noting that there were many considerations affecting how long the band stays together. “Headquarters has not given us a course of action.”

Dahleen hopes that Idyllwild will turn out en masse on Thursday, Aug. 18 to appreciate and honor the musicianship and service of the Combat Center Band’s members. It is the final concert in Dahleen’s series and, as he notes, this may be the last appearance in Idyllwild of this very popular ensemble.

As of this writing, Dahleen and his board have not reached their budgetary goal of $19,500 (as of Monday, Aug. 15, $18,626), making the final concert important for financial reasons, as well as for providing a rousing send-off to the Marine Corps band.