The Andover Townsman
---- — Andover residents crowded into the Collins Center on Sunday afternoon and filled it with a bit of patriotic pride.
The town Veterans’ Service Office hosted a free concert featuring “the president’s own” United States Marine Band at the Collins Center for the Performing Arts at Andover High School.
The band is the oldest performing musical organization in the United States, and performs at the White House more than 300 times each year.
The U.S. Marine Band has significant ties to Massachusetts as it was the first president from Massachusetts who founded the group.
On July 11, 1798, President John Adams approved legislation that officially brought the United States Marine Band into being. In its infancy, the band consisted of a drum major, fife major and 32 drums and fifes.
“When the nation’s capital relocated from Philadelphia to the new Federal city of Washington in 1800, the Marine Band came with the chief executive and made its White House debut at President and Mrs. John Adams’ first New Year’s Day reception in 1801,” according to the White House Historical Association. “Present at many of the most memorable and cherished moments in our nation’s history, the band played for the dedication of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg when President Abraham Lincoln gave his immortal address. It has provided music for every inauguration since the time of Thomas Jefferson, the president who gave them the title, ‘The President’s Own.’”