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America’s Musicians

  • From Marine Band Concerto Competition Winner to Audition Winner

    SBO Staff | February 19, 2024Horn player Staff Sgt. Shawn Zheng, of Murfreesboro, Tenn., is one of the newest members of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band – he just joined the ensemble in August 2023. He’s also a former winner (2017) of the Marine Band’s annual Concerto Competition for High School Musicians – the first of which to […] Read More...
  • You Got the Job! Staff Sergeant Kate Walsh

    Staff Sergeant Kate Walsh | January 8, 2024You got the job!” he shouted at me through the phone. The voice on the other end was a friend from long ago, currently technical support group leader at The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” in Washington, D.C. As I sat at Buffalo Wild Wings, warm tears of relief filled my eyes. I was […] Read More...
  • You have a face for flute.” – Technical Sergeant Cara Dailey

    SBO Staff | December 11, 2023Technical Sergeant Cara Dailey never expected an auspicious assessment by her elementary school music teacher would cultivate her love for music as well as share it with audiences and students as far and wide as possible. Her musical journey took her from Texas to the Midwest and back to make and teach music and raise […] Read More...
  • Specialist William Esterling: Maestro on a Mission

    SBO Staff | November 1, 2023In the world of music, there are individuals whose talents extend far beyond the stage into the realms of service and devotion to their country. Army Specialist (SPC) William F. Esterling III stands as a shining example of such figures. His journey, stretching from Delaware’s Cab Calloway School of the Arts to the Delaware National […] Read More...
  • My Story – Senior Airman Guy James

    Senior Airman Guy James | October 15, 2023I don’t come from a musical family, but I believe fate will have its way no matter what we’re born into. My earliest memories of connecting with music go back to my childhood climbing up on a relative’s piano bench and being mesmerized by the sound when I touched the piano keys. It wasn’t until I […] Read More...
  • Two Sopranos – One Mission

    Thomas Palmatier | September 10, 2023SBO+: This month marks a slight departure from our usual approach in “America’s Musicians.” Usually, the military musician tells their story. Here, SBO+ editor-in-chief Tom Palmatier tells the stories of master sergeant Teresa Alzadon and sergeant first class Rachel Farber. Why? Because he hired them! Auditions for any position in a military premier band (the […] Read More...
  • From Salsa to Service: Musician 2nd Class Cesar Pimental Ortiz

    SBO Staff | August 20, 2023Music has the power to transcend borders and reach people from all cultures. This was the case for Musician 2nd Class Cesar Pimentel Ortiz who grew up listening to salsa and other Latin music in Puerto Rico. This soundtrack became the inspiration for his pursuit of musical studies in Puerto Rico’s distinguished conservatory. A path […] Read More...
  • Coast Guard Musician’s Work Transcends Boundaries

    CDR Adam Williamson, CDR Krystyn Pecora | July 16, 2023Traveling more than 7,000 miles away from New London, Ct. to Chennai, India, Musician First Class (MU1) Meera Gudipati has learned first-hand how music can be a universal language through her continued work with the South Asian Symphony Foundation. Gudipati was recently invited by the former Indian ambassador to the United States and Indian Foreign […] Read More...
  • From Mean Green to Army Green: My Journey as a Musician

    Staff Sergeant Trevor Duell | June 12, 2023“Are you sure about this?” my mother asked with a slight twinge of worry. “We support your decision and are behind you all the way,” my dad quickly added. I remember the conversation as though it were yesterday. I was completing my doctoral dissertation at the University of North Texas and planning my next move. […] Read More...
  • Staff Sergeant Brooke Bart – Marine Corps Music Program

    Staff Sergeant Brooke Bart | May 11, 2023My experience as a musician in the Marine Corps has offered me the opportunity to do the most incredible things, explore the most incredible places, and perform with the most incredible people. I have seen and done things that my 10-year-old self would be amazed by. The path that got me to where I am […] Read More...
  • Technical Sergeant Erick Quintanilla – Air National Guard Bands

    SBO Staff | April 2, 2023Technical sergeant (TSgt) Erick Quintanilla is a citizen Airman, serving as both a musician in the Air National Guard Band of the West Coast and as a music educator for the Los Angeles Unified School District.  Like many, Quintanilla’s ideals and work ethic have been shaped by his life experiences. Growing up in Mid-City Los […] Read More...
  • In Her Own: Words Musician 1st Class Adele Demi U.S. Navy Band

    Musician 1st Class Adele Demi | March 13, 2023Musician 1st Class Adele Demi joined the United States Navy Concert and Ceremonial Band in 2012 as a clarinet instrumentalist. She has served as a ceremonial band drum major, an enlisted conductor of the concert band, auditions supervisor, and was recently named the band’s 2022 Sailor of the Year from a field of 94 of […] Read More...
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