ASHBURN, Ga. -- The Albany Marine Band performed here Feb. 20 for more than 500 Turner County students, dispelling any false notions the students may have had about Marines being only infantrymen.
According to Sgt. Jacqueline Hunter, Albany Marine Band French horn musician, the band's performance showed the diversity of career options the Corps offers today's recruits. Although all Marines are riflemen first, many develop other occupational specialties, such as the musicians featured in the band.
The Turner County Middle School and High School band director, Richard Lyons, who invited the musical Leathernecks to perform there, has a deep appreciation for Marines. His father was a Navy surface warfare officer.
"The Marines have a special place in my heart," said Lyons
Whether the student was a sixth grader or a high school senior, the Albany Marine Band's repertoire included offerings that pleased almost every musical taste, from John Philip Sousa's "Semper Fidelis" to Ray Charles's "Georgia On My Mind."
"We were very fortunate to have them play for us and give us a taste of patriotic music," said Lyons, whose students echoed the same type of appreciation.
Clarinet players Brandi Brooks, 16, and Jenna Stallings, 17, were impressed by the band's musical diversity and the Marines' vitality.
Brooks said she could relate to the Marines because, in addition to her band activities, she is a sergeant first class in her school's Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps' Program.
"I think they are so cool," exclaimed Brooks.
The Marines signed autographs for the students and gave them Marine Corps bumper stickers as mementoes. Some of the Corps' finest future Marines may come out of Turner County, thanks to the Albany Marine Band and the time dedicated Marine musicians took to talk with interested students about their careers.