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America’s Musicians

  • Serving as a Citizen Soldier Chief Warrant Officer Four

    Kathy Schiafone | November 13, 2022I planned to be an accountant. Although I don’t remember why accounting, or who influenced me, it was an easy profession to imagine as a high school student; a clear path to a stable and life-sustaining wage. As a young child growing up in Johnsonburg, PA, I listened to my Italian father, Cosmo, play accordion, and […] Read More...
  • My Story

    Mike Lawson | October 13, 2022How did I, a person of Colombian peasant heritage, end up in the U.S Air Force Band of the West? To answer that, I must first tell you about my parents; about their hard work and sacrifice that allowed me to do my hard work and sacrifice. My parents grew up in peasant families: mud […] Read More...
  • Staff Sergeant Joseph Bennett and Staff Sergeant Renée Bennett

    SBO Staff | September 5, 2022In the old days, new soldiers were told, “If the Army wanted you to have a wife, they would have issued you one.” Those days are long gone and today, American women comprise over 16% of the active Army and serve in every type of Army unit. The United States Army Field Band, the “Musical […] Read More...
  • In His own words – Kent Grover

    Musician First Class Matthew Tremel | August 2, 2022On July 6, 2022, at an elementary school in Libreville, Gabon, Musician First Class Kent Grover added another country to the list of places he has performed with the U.S. Navy fleet bands.  Gabon is country number 37 for Grover, who joined the U.S. Navy as a musician in 2016.   KG: I come from […] Read More...
  • Musician First Class Ian Dobie Rocks!

    Chief Musician Leah Abbott | July 8, 2022How does an avid outdoorsman and violinist from land-locked Boise, Idaho, become interested in joining America’s oldest seagoing service as a recording engineer?  You could say that Musician First Class Ian Dobie has a competitive streak. After all, at the age of four, he envied his older sister’s ability to play the violin so much […] Read More...
  • U.S. Army Bands Saxophonist Staff Sergeant Devin Thomas

    Staff Sergeant Brianna Williams | June 15, 2022Staff Sergeant Devin Thomas has served as the saxophone instructor at the U.S. Army School of Music (USASOM) Virginia Beach, Va. since 2021.  Before assuming duties as an instructor, he completed a tour with the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe Band – the musical ambassadors of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Prior to his […] Read More...
  • Marine Staff Sergeant Michael Borowski

    SBO Staff | May 2, 2022I always considered myself lucky I never wanted to do anything else but music. Even as I write this, I am thankful my passion to perform and make music with other musicians after twenty-some-odd years has not died out. Getting to this point in my life has been a fascinating journey. No one has any idea […] Read More...
  • In His Own Words: William Ledbetter – U.S. Navy Band Bassist

    Musician First Class Benjamin Ford | March 18, 2022On Dec. 12, 2021, at the Eichelberger Performing Arts Center in Hanover, Pennsylvania, Musician First Class William “Will” Ledbetter played his very first concert with the U.S. Navy Band Commodores jazz ensemble. Ledbetter is just the fifth bass player in the ensemble’s half-century existence, but his own musical journey started at the age of three […] Read More...
  • First Lieutenant Darren Lin of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band

    SBO Staff | February 23, 2022“The first time I conduct the Marine Band in the White House I think it’s going to be exciting and exhilarating,” First Lt. Darren Y. Lin said. “I’m sure I’ll just have all the adrenaline running through my veins. I’ll be lucky if I’m not overwhelmed in the moment, but I know it will be […] Read More...
  • The Road to Now

    MSG Leigh Lafosse | January 19, 2022When I think about how I became a clarinet player for The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own,” I suspect my story mirrors that of many current professional musicians. My first exposure to music study was in elementary school with the magical Ms. McAdoo. I remember how her classroom was made of windows and light […] Read More...
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