On July 12, 2014, “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band appointed University of Maryland alumnus Lieutenant Colonel Jason K. Fettig as its 28th director in a change of command ceremony held at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Center in Alexandria, Va.
During his tenure as an Assistant Director, Lt. Col. Fettig played a key role in expanding the educational initiatives of “The President’s Own.” He led side-by-side clinics with Marine Band musicians and students from bands and orchestras in public schools throughout the Washington, D.C., area. Additionally, he began an interactive Young People’s Concert series in 2006 and has conceived and conducted this popular annual event since its inception. Featuring the Marine Band, Marine Chamber Orchestra, and Marine Jazz Band in theatrical programs with a wide variety of themes, these concerts continue to be a highlight of the organization’s Winter/Spring concert series.
As Director of “The President’s Own,” Lt.Col. Fettig will serve as the music adviser to the White House and will regularly conduct the Marine Band at the Executive Mansion and Presidential Inaugurations.
“It is an incredible privilege to be afforded the rare opportunity to stand in the shoes of the great musicians who have led this special and historic organization over the past 216 years,” said Fettig. “Although deeply rooted in its history and traditions, the Marine Band has long melded those traditions with innovation and an eye toward the future. So I am excited to continue to diversify and expand the presence of Marine Band in the artistic and educational communities, both at home and abroad.”
Lt. Col. Fettig is a 1993 graduate of Manchester High School Central in Manchester, N.H., and holds two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst: clarinet performance (1997) and music education with an emphasis in conducting (1998). In 2005, he earned a master’s degree in orchestral conducting at the University of Maryland, where he served as assistant conductor for two productions of the Maryland Opera Studio. He has studied clarinet with Michael Sussman, Alan Meyer, and David Martins, and his principal conducting teachers were Malcolm W. Rowell, Mark Russell Smith, and James Ross of UMD. Additionally, Lt. Col. Fettig has participated in workshops with several renowned conductors including Osmo Vänskä and Otto Werner Mueller and attended the Conductors Guild Workshop led by Marin Alsop and Gustav Meier during the Cabrillo Festival of contemporary music in Santa Cruz, Calif.