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Thomas J. West Music

Live webcam private music lessons, music education articles, compositions, clinician services, reviews

Great Performances #2: The U.S. Marine Silent Drill Platoon

You couldn't ask for a much better example of the power of the human mind than the U.S. Marine Silent Drill Platoon. Even though they don't perform "music" per se, they are a great example of an ensemble of people who have learned a skill, rehearsed the skill, and operate as a combined whole that takes on its own life as a performance organism. There are no conductors or external reinforcements of the pulse. The marines march into the performance venue in perfect unison, perform for ten minutes, and march out again. Their precision is so flawless that there is no sense of individuality among any of the men. I had the good fortune to see them perform live back in 1997 at a drum corps show. I followed them out of the stadium gate to see what they did after the performance. A short distance outside the gate, their sargeant called a halt, gave a few other basic commands, and then gave the dismissal. The marines pivoted on their heel in the traditional about face, and it was like watching ice melt or glass shatter. Suddenly the living organism was gone and replaced by 24 individuals. You can literally feel the combination of their intent when you watch them. This performance group is another great example of the power of the mind to build neural connections with such attention and focus that time seems to melt around them. Enjoy.

Posted by ★ Owner on July 23, 2008 at 5:52 AM 3548 Views

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