Robert Jager is an American composer educated at the University of Michigan. He has written dozens of works for several media. He is the only composer to have won the Ostwald Prize from the American Bandmasters’ Association three times. He wrote Esprit de Corps in 1984 on a commission from the United States Marine Band and its conductor, Colonel John Bourgeois. The piece is a fantasy on The Marine’s Hymn, taking the familiar theme in new, exciting directions.
From the title page of the Esprit de Corps score:
Based on The Marines’ Hymn, this work is a kind of fantasy-march, as well as a tribute to the United States Marine Band. Full of energy and drama, the composition has its solemn moments and its lighter moments (for example, the quasi-waltz in the middle of the piece). The composer intends that this work should display the fervor and virtuosity of the Marine Band and the musical spirit and integrity of its conductor, Colonel John R. Bourgeois, for whom the initial tempo marking, “Tempo di Bourgeois,” is named. Colonel John Bourgeois is a dramatic, spirited conductor, who reflects the excitement of the music being played. When a tempo is supposed to be “bright” he makes sure it is exactly that. Because the tempo of Esprit de Corps is to be very bright, the marking just had to be “Tempo di Bourgeois!”
Robert Jager’s website – including bio, list of compositions, and more.
Esprit de Corps page on Robert Jager’s website including a better-quality audio recording of the last minute or so of the piece.
Official history of The Marines’ Hymn on the United States Marine Band website.
“The President’s Own” United States Marine Band website. They are, without question, one of the finest bands in the world, no matter who is president.