Monday, November 10, 2008

Marine Corps Birthday Ball 2008

Happy 233rd Birthday to the Marine Corps! Since 1775, Marines make a point to celebrate their birthday with many formal events and even ceremonies all over the world. This year, we attended the Enlisted Birthday Ball for MCRD at the Harbor Island Sheraton in San Diego. The celebration continues about every night for several weeks and of course the Marine Band performs at every event. Although it is a very busy time of year for A in the band, these Marines still try to find a little fun. Below is a video of Marine Band San Diego rehearsing a song for the birthday ball pre-show. You can see A playing trombone with the brass quintet at the beginning, and then I'm sure you'll have a good laugh when the rock band takes over and the group rocks out to "Bohemian Rhapsody." Marines aren't allowed to have this much fun!

Happy Birthday, Marines, and Semper Fidelis!
(A cool shot of A at a wedding. Just like the Marines commercial, sword and all.)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Another Promotion!

After only two years in the Marine Corps, A was promoted to Sergeant on the 1st of October. Sergeant is a pivotal rank in the Corps and things have really begun to look up in A's unit. In addition to his many duties within the band (including Public Affairs Office and Martial Arts Instructor), A has taken up the responsibility of arranging musical compositions for the full Concert Band and Brass Quintet. Here are some shots from the promotion ceremony at MCRD:

A getting his new Sergeant chevrons pinned on by the Colonel and Sergeant Major (yes, once in awhile Marines do crack smiles).

Fellow Marine Sgt. Barger congratulating A.
Sgt. Panos and his very proud Marine wife.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Light In The Piazza

This fall, L is playing the harp in the musical production of "The Light In The Piazza" with Lamb's Players Theater in Coronado. L will be extremely busy as the production runs through November, seven shows a week! The cast and orchestra are amazingly talented, and L thanks LPT for this special opportunity!

Since there is no orchestra pit in this theater, the small orchestra (of about 8) plays from the backside of the stage behind the set of Roman columns. This picture was taken during preview week before the scrim (a black screen) was hung to better hide the orchestra. There are still points in the show when the musicians are lit up and see from behind the scrim.

Here's more info from the website:
LPT is pleased to present the regional premiere of this gorgeous new musical!

The year is 1953, and Margaret Johnson is on vacation with her daughter Clara in Italy. Both are entranced with the art, the architecture, and all-enveloping romance of their surroundings as compared with their native North Carolina. Margaret is taken back to days when she visited the country on her honeymoon, while Clara finds herself in a sudden romance with a charming young man named Fabrizio. But a secret both women carry may prevent young love from blossoming, and both will soon make a series of life-changing discoveries about love, identity, holding on, and letting go.

With a gorgeous Tony Award-winning score by Sondheim protegé Adam Guettel, THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA is a San Diego premiere that will stun you with its beauty and make you glad to be alive.

New York Magazine
"The first great musical of the post-Sondheim era!"
The Wall Street Journal
"The most intensely romantic score of any Broadway musical since West Side Story!"
The New York Times
"It will win your heart!"
"A blessing for those in search of signs of intelligent life in the American musical!"
The New York Times

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Last Bit of Summer

A and some Marine friends from work decided to have a little fun by creating a "World War II" dress night at a local German restaurant. The Marines all wore a uniform that literally hasn't changed since that area and their dates also tried to dress like the gals from the 1940's.

Also that same weekend, L performed with her friends in the Celebrate Dance Festival in Balboa Park.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Big Trip, Part 2: London

After our visit in Chicago, we flew to London, England. Being our first time this far east of the States, London was more fantastic than we could have imagined and we greatly enjoyed our time exploring the historic sites of this 2,000-year-old city. Just like the movies, red telephones and double-decker buses are everywhere, as well as miles of cute buildings, beautiful monuments, and over 7,000 yummy pubs. Here are a bunch of photos from our wonderful time there.

The World War I Memorial and Statue of Boadicea
We stayed at the quaint Oxford Hotel near Hyde Park. On the right is the street to our hotel; pretty much all the streets look like this, very cool.

Hanging out in Trafalgar Square, classic London.

At the windy top of St. Paul's Cathedral. We hiked about 500 stairs to get there, an amazing church only 400 years old.
Walking along the River Thames with Tower Bridge in the background, and Big Ben at high noon.

The very old Tower of London (a lot of executions took place here)
, and waiting for the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace (the Queen was there that day too, we saw her being driven in a car).

L walking across the famous Abbey Road (the Beatles fans out there understand), and A waiting for the Tube in the Underground. "Mind the gap."

A on Westminster Bridge with the London Eye behind him (the world's largest Ferris wheel, built for the millennium).
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, as seen from the Eye.
A strolling through Hyde Park. The parks in London are beautiful and ridiculously big!
It was truly a wonderful experience and we already miss London!

The Big Trip, Part 1: Chicago

The first leg of our big summer trip started with visiting L's sister and her hubby in their new hometown of Wheaton, Illinois (just outside of Chicago). Here's a family game of Life going on in their lovely and cozy basement apartment.

While in Illinois, we attended the lovely wedding of our Marine friends, Austin and Maureen, who are both stationed with A in San Diego. A is the Marine on the left in the Sword Detail as the newlyweds walk through the bridge.

The following day, we walked all over downtown Chicago with B and M as our knowledgeable tour guides. Although the day started out rainy, we had a blast checking out the enormous city. Here are some cute pictures from the day:

The Gee's reflection on the cool, silver "Bean" in Millennium Park. Finally, here's B in front of the Billy Graham building on the Wheaton College campus where he has most of his classes, and L by C.S. Lewis' actual wardrobe, hence the inspiration for his Chronicles of Narina (also on the campus).

Thanks B and M for making the first half of our summer trip very fun and memorable! Next stop...London!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Summer Parades and Concerts

This summer has been full of performances for A, including Marine Band concerts-in-the-park in Woodland Hills, Buena Park, Escondido, Alpine, and other areas around San Diego such as the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Coronado, and Balboa Park. In celebration of America's independence, the 4th of July started off with a big parade in Coronado.

The American birthday celebration continued with another Marine Band park concert in the evening, followed by fireworks show.
Another big summer concert was at our church which featured A in the Brass Quintet from Marine Band San Diego (below) and the College Avenue Baptist Church Orchestra (which also included A on bass trombone and L on harp).

Below is a quick video of Alex's feature with the Brass Quintet, though unfortunately, the footage is quite dark:

How about this as a possible Christmas card photo:
Additionally, L continued playing the harp at many wedding all over San Diego, as well as new opportunities such as playing at the fancy teas at the Westgate Hotel downtown.