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“The President’s Own”

United States Marine Band

Lieutenant Colonel Jason K. Fettig, Director
Tuba
Master Gunnery Sergeant John Cradler

Tuba player Master Gunnery Sergeant John Cradler of Lake Mills, Wis., joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in July 1989. He was named section leader in 2000, low brass section commander in 2003, and principal in November 2013. Master Gunnery Sgt. Cradler began his musical instruction at age 11 and graduated in 1983 from Lake Mills High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in tuba performance from the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1987 and a master’s degree in tuba performance from the University of Akron in Ohio in 1989. His instructors have included John Stevens of the University of Wisconsin, Tucker Jolly of the University of Akron, and Ronald Davis of the University of South Carolina. 

In 1994, Master Gunnery Sgt. Cradler performed a recital at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and in 1998, he was a featured soloist at the International Tuba-Euphonium Conference (ITEC) in Minneapolis and the U.S. Army Band Tuba-Euphonium Conference in Arlington, Va. In 2005, he performed as a member of the Marine Tuba-Euphonium Quartet at the U.S. Army Band Tuba-Euphonium Conference and the Potomac Festival’s International Tuba and Euphonium Competition in Fairfax, Va. In 2006, the same ensemble performed at ITEC in Denver, Colo. In 2007 the members of the quartet were guest artists at the Leonard Falcone International Tuba-Euphonium Festival and featured at the ITEC in Cincinnati in 2008 and Tucson, Ariz., in 2010.

Staff Sergeant Landres Bryant

Tuba player Staff Sergeant Landres Bryant joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in June 2012. Staff Sgt. Bryant began his musical training at age 10. Upon graduating from Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach in 2006, he attended the University of Michigan (U-M) in Ann Arbor, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in music in 2010. In 2012, he earned a master’s degree in music from Yale University in New Haven, Conn. His teachers included Fritz Kaenzig of U-M, Mike Roylance of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Jay Bertolet of the Florida Philharmonic in Fort Lauderdale.

 

Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” Staff Sgt. Bryant  was a Tanglewood Music Center fellow in Lenox, Mass., Schleswig-Holstein Academy Orchestra fellow in Germany, Music Academy of the West fellow in Santa Barbara, Calif., and was a member of the Disneyland Resort All-American College Band in Anaheim, Calif.


Gunnery Sergeant Franklin Crawford

Tuba player Gunnery Sergeant Frank Crawford joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in June 2000. Gunnery Sgt. Crawford began his musical training at age 8. After graduating in 1996 from the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, he attended Indiana University in Bloomington where he studied with Daniel Perantoni. He also studied with the late David Randolph of Interlochen Arts Camp and Jeannie Little of the Interlochen Arts Academy. Gunnery Sgt. Crawford received his bachelor of music degree from the University of Maryland in College Park in 2007, where he studied with Toby Hanks. In 2011, he received his master’s degree from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” he performed with the Indiana University Wind Ensemble and Marching Band.


Gunnery Sergeant Paul Mergen

Tuba player Gunnery Sergeant Paul Mergen joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in October 2004. Gunnery Sgt. Mergen began his musical instruction on the trumpet at age 10 and tuba at age 13. Upon graduating in 1993 from Voorhees High School in Glen Gardner, N.J., he attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in music history in 1997. In 2003, he earned a master’s degree in music performance and pursued an artist’s diploma from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J. His teachers included Fritz Kaenzig and Scott Mendoker.

                                                                                                       

Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” Gunnery Sgt. Mergen was a freelance musician in New York and New Jersey. In 2003, he participated in a brass quintet in residency at The Banff Center in Banff, Alberta, Canada.


Gunnery Sergeant Mark Thiele

Tuba player Gunnery Sergeant Mark Thiele joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in June 1998 and was named assistant section leader in November 2013. Gunnery Sgt. Thiele began his musical instruction at age 10. He graduated in 1991 from James Madison High School in Vienna and received a bachelor’s degree in music education from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., in 1995. In 2001, he received a master’s in music performance from the University of Michigan (U-M) in Ann Arbor. His tuba instructors included David Bragunier of the National Symphony Orchestra, Kevin Stees of James Madison University, and Robert LeBlanc and Fritz Kaenzig of U-M.

Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” Gunnery Sgt. Thiele performed for two years at Walt Disney World in “The Tubafours,” a tuba quartet. In 1995, he won the International Tuba-Euphonium Conference Solo Competition.

In 1999 and 2004, he was a soloist at the United States Army Band Tuba-Euphonium Conference in Arlington, Va. He participated in the conference in 2005 as a member of the Marine Band Tuba-Euphonium Quartet and the Potomac Festival’s International Tuba and Euphonium Competition in Fairfax, Va. In 2006, the same ensemble performed at the International Tuba-Euphonium Conference in Denver, Colo. Gunnery Sgt. Thiele also oversees program and script development for the Marine Band’s Music in the Schools and Music in the High Schools educational programs.   

Gunnery Sergeant Christopher Tiedeman

Tuba player Gunnery Sergeant Christopher Tiedeman joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in May 2002. Gunnery Sgt. Tiedeman began his musical training at age 7. After graduating from Stadium High School in Tacoma in 2000, he attended the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester in New York, where he studied with Don Harry. He also studied with Ivan Giddings of Tacoma.

 

Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” he won the International Tuba and Euphonium Conference’s Young Artist competition in 2000.



Staff Sergeant Simon Wildman

Tuba player Staff Sergeant Simon Wildman joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in June 2013. Staff Sgt Wildman began his musical training on the tuba at age 12. After graduating in 2004 from Morgantown High School he earned a bachelor’s degree in music performance in 2008 from West Virginia University (WVU) in Morgantown. He continued his studies, earning a master’s degree from Ohio University (OU) in Athens in 2010 and a doctorate from the University of Georgia (UGA) in Athens in 2012. He studied with Dave McCollum of WVU, Jason Smith of OU, and David Zerkel of UGA.

Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” Staff Sgt. Wildman performed with the Dayton Philharmonic in Ohio.