UNT alumni played at Obama’s inauguration

UNT alumni played at Obama’s inauguration

January 23
00:03 2013

Ben Peyton / Senior Staff Writer

Musical performances honed at the UNT College of Music could be heard at the 57th presidential inauguration on Jan. 21,where alumni performed in the U.S. Marine Band and other elite military ensembles.

Clarinetist and Staff Sgt. Meaghan Kawaller (‘06) won an audition to play with the U.S. Marine Band in July 2011.

The U.S Marine Band includes UNT alumni euphonium players Hiram Diaz, Mark Jenkins (‘03) and Ryan McGeorge (‘04), to name a few of the near half-dozen members.

The Band nicknamed “The President’s Own” preformed “Hail to the Chief” and “Hail, Columbia” among others for the president, vice president and a tuned-in nation.

“When I was introduced to the band and they said I was from UNT, I heard other alums in the background cheering,” said Kawaller in a press release.

Usually 60 to 100 people audition to be a part of a military ensemble, said Brian Bowman, the regents professor of euphonium in the UNT College of Music and retired chief master Sgt. in the U.S. Air Force. He taught Diaz, McGeorge, Jenkins and most of the euphonium players who perform in Washington D.C. ensembles, Bowman said.

Kawaller and “The President’s Own” aren’t the only UNT alumni to play in military ensembles, however. More than 100 UNT College of Music alumni play in about two dozen ensembles, according to a UNT press release.

Bowman marched in five inaugurals where he played euphonium in the U.S. Navy Band, U.S. Air Force Band and the U.S. Armed Forces Bicentennial Band before Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Bowman said it’s always an exciting time at the inauguration and believed his former students “absolutely” would have success.

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