Today in our Nation's Capital, ESYO alumnus Master Sergeant Brian Sacawa and the United States Army Field Band ceremoniously escorted President Joe Biden to the White House as part of the 2021 Presidential Inauguration White House Processional.
Music has played an integral role in the American government since the founding of our country. From State Capitols to our Nation's Capitol, music has always echoed through the chambers of our democracy. Musicians bravely stood at the frontlines signaling troops towards freedom at the Battles of Saratoga and Gettysburg. They've honored the fallen and escorted Presidents on official visits. Musicians have entertained scores of visiting dignitaries at state dinners and public ceremonies. Musicians have performed at every Presidential Inauguration since George Washington journeyed from Mount Vernon to New York City in 1789.
Master Sergeant (MSG) Sacawa and the Army Field Band were part of a Presidential parade led by musicians from every military branch. MSG Sacawa joined the United States Army Field Band 18 years ago after completing an audition and basic training. Since joining the Army Field Band, he has performed in 5 Presidential inaugurations, worked hard, and rose through the ranks to become a section leader in the Concert Band. MSG Sacawa also leads the Army Field Band's Saxophone Quartet.
This Presidential Inauguration was much different. Like ESYO, the Army Field Band took precautions to keep its members safe from COVID-19, both during rehearsals and at the Parade. The field band gathered for rehearsals in small groups of 25 musicians and began practicing for the inauguration in August at Fort Meade in Maryland.
Composed in 1905 by Edwin Eugene Bagley and dedicated to the American Flag, National Emblem is one of the most famous American marches. It was so famous that many people assumed that John Phillip Sousa composed the March.
Fun Fact! If you listen carefully, you can hear portions of The Star-Spangled Banner.
"The Thunderer" is a widely known march by "The March King" John Phillip Sousa. Composed in 1889, "The Thunderer" was Mrs. Sousa's favorite musical march.
Each branch of the U.S. Military has a song that honors its service. "The Army Goes Rolling Along" was composed in 1908 by Brigadier General Edmund L. Gruber while stationed in the Philippines. In 1917, military bandleader and composer John Phillip Sousa transformed the song into a march.
You can listen to Master Sergeant Brian Sacawa perform with the United States Army Field Band Concert Band and Saxophone Quartet online on YouTube or on Facebook.
Listen live as Brian and his Saxophone Quartet perform Groovy Loops by Scott McKenzie this Friday, January 22, 2021.