May 13, 2021

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"Until Valhalla" USMC Drum Corps 2021 Indoor Percussion

2 min read



“The Commandant’s Own” is proud to present their 2021 Winter Guard International exhibition performance entitled “Until Valhalla.”

Finding its origins in Norse Mythology, the phrase “Until Valhalla” has been unofficially adopted by Marines as a motto to pay respect to those fellow warriors who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our great nation.

Explored in 4 movements, “Until Valhalla” features music from composers John Psathas, Björk, Punch Brothers, and Dwayne Rice. Under the direction of Captain Nate Morris, and orchestrated by Sgt Garrett Churchey, Sgt Tyler Hildreth, GySgt Jason L. Pena, and Dr. Matt Jordan, we hope you enjoy.

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The history of the unit can be traced to the early days of the Marine Corps. In the 18th and 19th centuries military musicians, or “field musics,” provided a means of passing commands to Marines in battle formations. The sound of various drum beats and bugle calls could be easily heard over the noise of the battlefield and signaled Marines to attack the enemy or retire for the evening. Through the 1930’s, Marine Corps posts were still authorized a number of buglers and drummers to play the traditional calls and to ring a ship’s bell to signal the time.

The United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps was formed in 1934 to augment the United States Marine Band. The unit provided musical support to ceremonies around the nation’s capitol and, during World War II, was tasked with Presidential support duties. For this additional role, they were awarded the scarlet and gold breast cord by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, which they still proudly display on their uniform.
When the war ended, the Drum & Bugle Corps resumed performing at various military and public ceremonies.

In the early 1950s the unit gained considerable acclaim performing for an increasing number of civilian audiences. Music composed specifically for their unique selection of instruments helped establish their reputation for excellence during this period. These factors also led to the unit’s formal designation as “The Commandant’s Own”—a title noting their unique status as musicians for the Commandant of the Marine Corps.
In the tradition of their “field music” predecessors, these musicians in “The Commandant’s Own” are Marines in the truest sense of the word. Every enlisted member is a graduate of Marine Corps recruit training and is trained in basic infantry skills. Prior to enlisting, each Marine must pass a demanding audition for service in the Drum & Bugle Corps. Following Recruit Training and Marine Combat Training, the Marines are assigned to “The Commandant’s Own.”

The unit travels the world along with the United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon and the Official Color Guard of the Marine Corps as the United States Marine Corps Battle Color Detachment.

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31 thoughts on “"Until Valhalla" USMC Drum Corps 2021 Indoor Percussion

  1. A show of force, creativity, commitment, dynamic control, counterpoint, musicality, and perfection of the art form. Outstanding Marines! Drum Major Martinez, this ensemble brings great pride to all those who had the honor and pleasure to wear that uniform. Congratulations and Semper Fi from the Million Dollar Drumline. Awesome Performance!

  2. The Commandants Own ,the last Drum & Bugle Corps left in the land.
    Great piece , drum line is expanded . The electric piano not a fan of it but it is a percussion instrument.

    If they add other instruments & brass how far are they willing to go.

    I always loved them for their purity as a drum corps. Will the electronics be apart of the field show?

  3. I’m probably the only one thing this but, where are the logos for the drum heads. I’m 100% sure that the drum are Yamaha. And I’m like a solid 50 to 70% sure the drumheads are evans

  4. Wow. I am beyond impressed and in awe of this performance! Such an amazing job with the writing, arrangement and production. This is everything I wish we were doing while I was on this line in 10-14. To every member who persevered through the unit's command changes, thank you so much for pushing this to the level we all knew it could be. Definitely looking forward to future productions!

  5. Another group looking stupid with the masks ! Oh my god I'm so scared I might catch something !
    Why don't you all go back in your safe room with your stuffed animals. Such a sad lot !

  6. Mask = no freedom of speech ! You guys should revolt against this
    this looks so bad. Don't you all live tougher in the barracks ? sleep eat and bathe with no mask on ?
    And now your afraid to play on stage with out a mask ??!! All our forefathers are turning in their graves

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