Cultural diplomacy is defined as strengthening relationships through the exchange of ideas, traditions, and other aspects of culture. Music is a form of cultural diplomacy as it is considered a universal language that brings together people of all cultures. The President’s Own’s position during state dinners has proven to musically represent the United States. They have done an exemplary job in entertaining foreign guests and forging stronger diplomatic relationships.

"The Marine Band is eminently the national band of the country."

- Washington newspaper report, 1873

The visit of King Kalakaua set the standard for state dinners; the President’s Own’s performance made an impact on the Queen and resulted in the ratification of the 1875 Reciprocity Treaty. Prince Henry was impressed with America’s hospitality, thus, solidified the U.S.' relationship with Germany prior to WWI. The memorable performance for President Ayub promoted a peaceful resolution between India and Pakistan. The 1985 iconic gala dinner performance strengthened the bond between Britain and America. These four events are only among the countless occasions where the band made great contributions to promote diplomacy.  

Marine Band performing, 2019, United States Marine Corps

John Phillip Sousa and the President's Own performing at the White House for President Herbert Hoover and British Ambassador Sir Ronald Lindsay, 1930, United States Marine Band

President Lyndon Johnson and his wife pose with the President's Own after a state dinner for President Ayub Khan. December 14, 1965, Lyndon B. Johnson Library Collection

The President's Own performed in the Entrance Hall of the White House in honor of Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, April 30, 1987, The White House

"I have never failed to be proud of this splendid musical organization. Foreign visitors have often remarked to me that they felt it was the finest organization of its kind in the world."

- President Richard Nixon, N.D.