Posted: Aug 22, 2013 4:53 PM by MTN News
BILLINGS - Funding cuts due to sequestration, have forced the cancellation of the United States Marine Band's summer concert tour, including a scheduled performance in Billings at the Alberta Bair Theatre (ABT) set for October 10th, 2013.
The performance, which was to be free to the public, was part of the band's national concert tour to the Midwest.
With the exception of WWII, this marks the first time since 1891 that the band has not toured.
A statement issued by the U.S. Marine Corps office of Public Affairs, said sequestration was the reason the tour was cancelled.
"Budget cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (also known as sequestration) necessitated this decision by the United States Marine Corps and we apologize for any inconvenience this cancellation has on our sponsors and their communities."
The statement added that the U.S. Marine Band looks forward to bringing the music of "The President's Own" back to the communities affected at the earliest opportunity.
William Wood, ABT executive director, said the ABT is saddened by the cancellation of the tour and the Billings performance.
"This is the premier concert band in the world," he said, "and it was an honor to have them choose the ABT and Billings for a performance."
Wood added that ABT's goal is to have the U.S. Marine Band perform in Billings when tour funding is restored.
Founded in 1798 by an Act of Congress, "The President's Own" United State Marine Band is America's oldest continuously active professional musical organization.
The band performs a varied repertoire including new works for wind ensemble, traditional concert band literature, challenging orchestral transcriptions, and the patriotic marches that made it famous.