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Staff Sgt. Steven Santiago, musician, 1st Marine Division Band, entertains the audience during a performance at the West Gym, July 21, 2015. The band performed as part of the Combat Center Library’s Summer Reading Program with this year’s theme being "Read to the Rhythm."(Official Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Levi Schultz/Released)

Photo by Pfc. Levi Schultz

1st MarDiv Band performs to the rhythm

21 Jul 2015 | Pfc. Levi Schultz Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

Combat Center children twirled and danced to a variety of pop song renditions played by members of the 1st Marine Division Band at the West Gym, July 21, 2015.

The Combat Center hosted members of the 1st Marine Division Band as part of the library’s Summer Reading Program, which will run until August 3. The six-week program is open to readers of all ages and anyone with base access.

“The program was started to encourage kids to read and have fun through the summer months,” said Katherine Roberts, library technician, Combat Center Library. “Some of the kids read because they enjoy doing it but some of them need a little bit of encouragement in the form of goals and prizes before they realize they like it.”

During their performance, the band of eight Marines, led by Sgt. Michael Barnett, unit leader, 1st Marine Division Band, played seven different popular tunes ranging from recent hits such as Mark Ronson’s "Uptown Funk" to a jazz rendition of "When the Saints Go Marching In."

“The gigs we get with this group are sort of the odd Dixieland performances,” Barnett said. “Many of the gigs we play aren’t for little kids like this, so it’s more fun for us. Whenever we play with the entire band it is generally in ceremonies and large events, but in a smaller group we get the opportunity to play more entertaining music.”

Following the band’s performance, the event concluded with a raffle drawing for prizes.

“We try to hold all kinds of programs throughout the Summer Reading Program to make it more approachable and fun,” Roberts said. “The music falls in line with ‘Read to the Rhythm’ being this year’s theme.”

For any questions regarding the Summer Reading Program or future events, visit the Combat Center Library or contact 760-830-6875.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms