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Local woman to perform at Inauguration

By Staff | Jan 16, 2009

Betsy Hill

Shepherdstown native Master Gunnery Sergeant Betsy Hill will participate in the 56th Presidential Inauguration as a member of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band.

Flutist Hill joined The President’s Own United States Marine Band in August 1992. She was appointed co-principal flute in 2001.

Hill began her musical instruction at age 11. After graduating from Jefferson High School in Shenandoah Junction in 1983, she earned a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. She performs with the Marine Band and Marine Chamber Ensembles at the White House, in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, and across the country during the band’s annual concert tour. During inauguration, Betsy will participate in the ceremony and the parade.

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.