Marines with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Band traveled to Pittsburgh in support of recruiting efforts and the annual Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day Parade, March 14 through 18. Opportunities like this allow one-on-one interaction with the public and assist in recruiting efforts across the country.
“I think that something the band is really good at is showing the precision and attention to detail that all Marines have,” said Sgt. Kevin Ashley, the acting 3rd MAW Band drum major. “Music is a language and it’s amazing to show the people of the United States what they can expect from a United States Marine.”
The trip started out with a concert at the University of Pittsburgh.
“Initially, we played a concert at Bellfield Hall,” said Ashley. “We had been working on the pieces for the concert for about two months.”
The following day, the band performed for hundreds of thousands of people at the annual Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
“We had the opportunity to perform for over one hundred thousand people and it was truly incredible” said Warrant Officer Mark Pellon, the 3rd MAW Band commanding officer. “The entire event was televised as well, which allowed us to give the people of Pittsburgh a performance that was special.”
Areas like Pittsburgh do not have the opportunity to interact with Marines as often as people living on the East and West Coasts. The 3rd MAW Band’s involvement in the parade gave the people of Pittsburgh a positive image of the Marine Corps and a performance they are not likely to forget.
“It’s not normal for the 3rd MAW band to travel to a city on the East Coast,” said Pellon. “The people of Pittsburgh deserve to meet their Marines, because ultimately, we are here to serve them just as much as people that interact with us on a daily basis.”
The 3rd MAW Band displays a professional picture of what the people of America can expect from the Marine Corps as a whole. This allows the band to represent each and every military occupational specialty with professionalism and respect.
“As Marine musicians, we are representing all the different job fields across the Marine Corps,” said Pellon. “We take that job very seriously and I think we did a fantastic job this weekend for the people of Pittsburgh.”