The 1st Marine Division Band performs “Dance of the Jesters” during the 10th annual concert at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido on March 29, 2018. U.S. Marine Corps photo by LCpl. Rhita Daniel

Attention!! “Be prepared for an evening of patriotism and pride as we take a journey across the United States,” said Gunnery Sgt. Victor Ney.

Ney is the enlisted conductor of the 1st Marine Division Band based at Camp Pendleton. The Marines will fill the Butterfield Amphitheater at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 22.

The primary mission of the 1st Marine Division Band is to provide musical support for military parades and ceremonies, but its versatility allows it to accommodate other needs. 

The 1st Marine Division Band can become a ceremonial band or a concert band. It can morph into a big band, jazz combo, brass quintet, and party band.

They perform at more than 300 locations a year. In May, they were in France.

While all are exceptional musicians, each is a Marine. There are assignments where musical instruments remain stored and weapons are carried instead. They have been responsible for security at headquarters’ sites overseas including Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom I and II.

While Ney auditioned as a percussionist and earned an appointment in the band, he still went through boot camp and other combat training. He is now in his 20th year with the Marines and the band.

At the Aug. 22 concert, Ney and the band will belt out a diverse group of musical genres. “These will range from full concert to rock band and big band diversity,” Ney said.

The journey, Ney assured, will cross the United States. He promised stops in Death Valley, some travel along Route 66, a visit to Motown, a trip down to New Orleans, to Gettysburg, and ending in the District of Columbia.

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