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The 2018 registration is now open. Pre-registration rates are as follows:
$125 Early Bird Professional Rate
Through Oct. 1st
$155 Pre-conference Professional Rate
Through Dec. 13th
$90 Early Bird First Time Attendee Professional Rate
Through Oct. 1st 
$125 First Time Attendee Professional Rate
Through Dec. 13th 

College Student Rate
Through Dec. 13th

NOTE:  Anyone registered as a spouse or exhibitor will be ineligible to receive a professional development certificate/credit hours for the events attended during the conference.  

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Applications to perform or to propose a clinic at the 68th Annual Midwest Clinic are now available!

Exhibitor Contract

"The Commandant's Own," The United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps

  • The history of the unit can be traced to the early days of the Marine Corps. In the 18th and 19th centuries military musicians, or "field musics," provided a means of passing commands to Marines in battle formations. The sound of various drum beats and bugle calls could be easily heard over the noise of the battlefield and signaled Marines to attack the enemy or retire for the evening. Through the 1930's, Marine Corps posts were still authorized a number of buglers and drummers to play the traditional calls and to ring a ship's bell to signal the time. The United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps was formed in 1934 to augment the United States Marine Band. The unit provided musical support to ceremonies around the nation's capitol and, during World War II, was tasked with Presidential support duties. For this additional role, they were awarded the scarlet and gold breast cord by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, which they still proudly display on their uniform. When the war ended, the Drum & Bugle Corps resumed performing at various military and public ceremonies. In the early 1950s the unit gained considerable acclaim performing for an increasing number of civilian audiences. Music composed specifically for their unique selection of instruments helped establish their reputation for excellence during this period. These factors also led to the unit's formal designation as "The Commandant's Own”—a title noting their unique status as musicians for the Commandant of the Marine Corps. In the tradition of their "field music" predecessors, these musicians in "The Commandant's Own" are Marines in the truest sense of the word. Every enlisted member is a graduate of Marine Corps recruit training and is trained in basic infantry skills. Prior to enlisting, each Marine must pass a demanding audition for service in the Drum & Bugle Corps. Following Recruit Training and Marine Combat Training, the Marines are assigned to "The Commandant's Own." The unit travels the world along with the United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon and the Official Color Guard of the Marine Corps as the United States Marine Corps Battle Color Detachment.
  • 12/20/2018 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM
  • "The Commandant's Own," The United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps
  • Captain James 'Axel' Foley
  • Captain James Foley enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2004 and joined "The Commandant's Own" in 2005 as a Lead Soprano Bugler. He served both as a Soprano soloist and as the Assistant Ceremonial Bugler for the 2006-2007 Parade Seasons. He also served as a Drill Designer and Instructor for the Music in Motion program and as the Company Administrative Chief during this period. In 2008, he was named Mellophone Section Leader and appeared during the ensembles' performances as a featured soloist. He also began service as the unit's Chief Music Librarian and the Ceremonial Field Crew Director. For two consecutive years (2007 and 2008), he was named the U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps' representative to the Marine Corps Non-Commissioned Officer Musician of the Year Board. In 2009 he was selected for promotion to the rank of Staff Sergeant. In late 2009 a specially convened selection board named him the as unit's next officer and was appointed a Warrant Officer by the President in March of 2010. He served as the unit's Operations Officer from 2010-2014. He was promoted to the rank of Captain in December 2014 becoming the Company Executive Officer. He assumed duties as the sixth Director and seventh Commanding Officer of the United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps on 27 July 2018. The son of two US Air Force Officers, Captain Foley began his musical studies at age 11 in the Orlando, Florida Public School systems. He studied the trumpet privately with Craig Turley of Walt Disney Music and John Almeida of the University of Central Florida and the bassoon with Donna Ronco. He graduated in 1998 as a National Merit Semi-Finalist from the Engineering Science and Technology Program at Edgewater High School in Orlando, Florida where he was active in the dramatic arts as well as the marching, jazz, and concert bands. Captain Foley graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Music from the University of Wisconsin - Platteville in 2002. Throughout his undergraduate experience, he studied trumpet with Dr. Douglas Hill, Dr. Frank Hanson, and Dr. Gary Leopold, wind studies with Dr. Glenn Hayes, bassoon and wind conducting with Dr. Barry Ellis, and composition with Dr. Bonnie Miksch. He was a winner of the 2001 Concerto Competition and interned under John Hassig as a Program Assistant and Event Coordinator at the UW-P Center for the Performing Arts. Captain Foley moved to Washington, DC, to pursue a career in Arts Administration. He worked for Arena Stage and then the Washington National Opera before enlisting in the Marine Corps in 2004. While on active duty, studying with Prof. Mark Camphouse, he completed a Master of Music Degree in Conducting from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia in 2010. An advocate of all types and styles of musical performance, Captain Foley has performed with the 1997-1998 Magic of Orlando, 1999-2001 Madison Scouts, and the 2002 Concord Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps; the wind ensembles, jazz bands, orchestras, and choirs of the schools he has attended; the DC Acapella group Vox Populi; and several musical theater productions on stage and in the orchestra pit. He is an alumni member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Men's Music Fraternity. He is a graduate of both the Sergeant and Staff Non-Commissioned Officer's Non-Resident Courses and graduated from The Warrant Officer Basic Course 1-11 at The Basic School, Marine Corps Base Quantico where he placed on the Commanding General's Honor Roll in the top 5% of his class. His personal decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with gold star (second award) and the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal.
  • Captain Nathan D. Morris, Assistant Director & Executive Officer