ECHS grad working inauguration

Published 11:40 am Monday, January 19, 2009

By By MaryClaire Foster
An expected 2 million Americans are set to attend the 56th annual Presidential Inauguration on Jan. 20 and one Atmore native will not only be in attendance, but is part of the 11,500 military personnel making it happen.
Lance Corporal Matthew Kendal Robinson of the United States Marine Corps is a unique member of the Marine Band, known as “The President’s Own.”
Robinson has been a member of the stage crew in charge of setting up for the band since September of 2008 and will again be making sure the stage is set, literally, for Tuesday’s performance.
Robinson is a 2006 graduate of Escambia County High School and said he is honored to be able to participate in such an important event for our country.
Robinson’s mother, Kaye Robinson, said she is appreciative that her son is taking part in the event.
His sister, Maegan Robinson, said she too is proud of her brother and excited that he is able to participate in such a historic event.
Robinson joined the Marines and was off to basic training just days after his graduation and said he joined to serve his country.
Robinson served a tour of duty in Iraq for six months and has been in Washington D.C. since June of 2008.
When he arrived in June, he served as a marcher for Alpha Company until time came for a permanent change of duty station.
Robinson said the crew and band had already gone through one rehearsal heading out at 2 a.m. and not finishing until noon that day.
The stage will be set up again on Inauguration Day and will be checked for security by the Secret Service.
Robinson said this is not what he expected to get into when he joined the Marines, but greatly enjoys it.
Traveling with the band, Robinson was able to participate in a Mid-West tour of the country, where they played 29 concerts in 30 days.
The Marine Band is America’s oldest continuously active professional musical organization.
Founded in 1798, the band has performed for every U.S. President since John Adams. Given the title “The President’s Own” by Thomas Jefferson, the Marine Band’s primary mission is to provide music for the President of the United States.
This marks the Marine Band’s 53rd consecutive inaugural appearance, a tradition that dates back to Thomas Jefferson in 1801.
The Marine Band provides music for the swearing-in ceremony, including “Hail to the Chief” and several marches by its legendary 17th Director John Philip Sousa. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the 86-piece Marine Band assumes its position in the parade procession to lead the second division down Pennsylvania Avenue.
The band will conclude this momentous day with performances at two inaugural balls.

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