The oldest professional music organization in the United States of America is the United States Marine Band, also known as "The President's Own". This concert band has a long and rich history of excellence and has been conducted by some of the most famous names in music history including John Philip Sousa.

The President's Own

To be in "The President's Own" is to be the best of the best. Members of this ensemble perform for almost every presidential function at the White House and abroad. We are going to learn more about this band over the course of the year, but we will also look up to them as a role model of sorts. Based on the traditions of this ensemble, we are starting our own special set of achievements for each member of our band.

The President's Own

Band members at Braxton Craven are asked to learn and play music from a lesson book each week. Specific lines from these books as well as scales, etudes, and other music will be used as benchmark achievements that will allow each student to move up in "rank" throughout the year. These ranks are not just a badge of personal achievement, they are also a sign of leadership within the organization. As a student moves higher and progresses through their book they will also be asked to take a leadership role and help others achieve their goals as well in our band, "The Principal's Own!"

The President's Own

Band Enlisted Ranks

Enlisted Rank Playing Test (Benchmark) concepts tested
Private Hot Cross Buns first three notes
Private First Class Line #14- Rolling Along first five notes
Lance Corporal Line # 23 – March Steps movement in intervals
Corporal Line #31- Mozart Melody (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star) new note-  concert G
Sergeant Line # 42 – Skip to My Lou eighth note rhythms
Staff Sergeant Line #45 - William Tell Overture eighth note rhythms
Gunnery Sergeant Line #90 – Variations on a Familiar Tune theme and variations
Master Sergeant Line #113 – Sea Chanty dotted rhythms in triple meter
Sergeant Major Concert Bb major scale scales and arpeggios

Officer Requirements:

Officer Rank Playing Test (Benchmark) concepts tested
2nd Lieutenant Chromatic Scale scales and arpeggios
1st Lieutenant Level 1 Sight Reading - first five notes, quarter/half/whole notes and rest rhythm comprehension
Captain Concert Ab major scale theme and variations
Major Concert C major scale scales and arpeggios
Lt. Colonel Concert Eb major scale scales and arpeggios
Colonel Concert F scale for your instrument, 2 octaves scales and arpeggios
"Brigadier General
(1 star)" All scales - memorized scales and arpeggios
"Major General
(2 star)" Level 2 sightreading – first 10 notes, eight notes and rest rhythm comprehension
"Lieutenant General
(3 star)" Level 3 sightreading – first 10 notes, dotted rhythms rhythm comprehension
(4 star)" "Level 4 sightreading – first 12 notes, sixteenth notes, accidentals, and anything else I can think of!" accidentals, key change, dotted rhythms

A student can move as quickly through the ranks (sequentially) as they want to, but they must be able to play the required lines with at least 90% accuracy as graded by the SmartMusic Studio software.

Students can only attempt a level once in a 24 hour period.