Dawson Matthews, a member of the Massillon Band program, recently passed his audition to join the United States Marine Band program. Very few high school seniors qualify to play with the United States Marine Band — in fact, Dawson believes he is the first high school senior from Stark County to pass the audition in over six years!
Matthews, who plays french horn in the WHS Wind Orchestra and mellophone in the Tiger Swing Band, qualified for assignment to the band in the french horn section. He will report for Marine Basic Training this summer, after which he will attend Marine Combat Training. Upon successful completion of both programs, he will be assigned to a Marine Band unit. Matthews has spent the last two and half years working his way through the audition process, commenting that “it’s been tough, but it’s not over yet.” Still, he is excited for the opportunity and the challenges that await him.
More information about the Marine Band program can be found at https://www.marines.com/becoming-a-marine/enlisted/musician-enlistment-option-program.html, where they state “Members of each Marine Corps musical unit become part of a storied tradition, following in the footsteps of legendary Marine musicians like John Philip Sousa and other talented artists who, for more than 200 years, have called themselves Marines.” Active duty stations include Quantico, VA, Cherry Point, NC, Camp Lejuene, NC, Parris Island, SC, New Orleans, LA, Camp Pendleton, CA, Miramar, CA, San Diego, CA, Kaneohe Bay, HI, Okinawa, Japan, and the Marine Barracks in Washington, DC