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“The President’s Own”

United States Marine Band

Lieutenant Colonel Jason K. Fettig, Director
Violin
Master Gunnery Sergeant Claudia Chudacoff

Concertmaster Master Gunnery Sergeant Claudia E. Chudacoff joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Chamber Orchestra in January 1991. She was appointed assistant concertmaster in 1994, and concertmaster in December 2007. MGySgt Chudacoff began her musical instruction at age 6. Upon graduating in 1981 from Huron High School in Ann Arbor, she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., where she studied violin with Zvi Zeitlin and Sylvia Rosenberg.

Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” MGySgt Chudacoff was the assistant concertmaster of the Louisville Orchestra in Kentucky.

Watch MGySgt Chudacoff's performance of Claude Debussy's Sonata in G minor for Violin and Piano.


Violinist Master Gunnery Sergeant Peter Wilson

Violinist Master Gunnery Sergeant Peter Wilson joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Chamber Orchestra in September 1990. He was appointed principal second violin in 1991 and string section commander in 2007. He also serves as "Voice of the Marine Barracks," serving as official ceremonial narrator of Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C.

MGySgt Wilson began his musical training at age 2. After graduating in 1986 from Morgantown High School, he earned a bachelor of music degree in violin performance from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., in 1990. He earned a master of music and a doctorate in 2007 from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. His violin instructors included Linda Cerone, Robert Gerle, Blair Milton, and Donald Portnoy. His conducting instructors were Victor Yampolsky and John P. Paynter.

Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” MGySgt Wilson was concertmaster of the Walt Disney World All-American Orchestra in Orlando, Fla.

Violinist Master Sergeant Regino Madrid

Violinist Master Sergeant Regino Madrid joined “The President’s Own” Marine Chamber Orchestra in July 1998. He was appointed assistant concertmaster in December 2007. MSgt Madrid began his musical training at age 6. After graduating in 1992 from Hamilton High School in Los Angeles, he earned a bachelor of music degree in violin performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 1998.

Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” MSgt Madrid performed with the Canton Symphony in Canton, Ohio; Erie Philharmonic in Erie, Pa.; and the Hamilton String Quartet in Los Angeles. His violin instructors have included Linda Cerone of the Cleveland Institute and Laura Schmieder and Alexander Treger of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He has participated in chamber music festivals such as Holland Music Sessions, Santa Barbara's Music Academy of the West, Idyllwilde, Musicorda, and Soundfest.

Watch MSgt Madrid and GySgt Erika Sato perform Bruce Dukov's arrangement of John Philip Sousa's "The Stars and Stripes Forever."

Violinist Gunnery Sergeant Janet Bailey

Violinist Gunnery Sergeant Janet Bailey joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Chamber Orchestra in October 1996. GySgt Bailey began her musical instruction at age 4. Upon graduating from McLean High School in 1990, she earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Boston University where she studied with Yuri Mazurkevich.

Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” GySgt Bailey was a freelance musician in the Washington, D.C., area. She has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra, National Chamber Orchestra, National Gallery Orchestra, all in Washington, D.C, and was concertmaster and soloist with the Loudon Symphony in Leesburg, Va.




Violinist Staff Sergeant Christopher Franke

Violinist Staff Sergeant Christopher Franke joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in January 2007. SSgt Franke began his musical instruction on violin at age 5. After graduating in 2002 from West Springfield High School, he earned his bachelor of music degree in violin performance from The Cleveland Institute of Music in Ohio in 2006. He also has pursued graduate studies at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. His notable instructors include Cyrus Forough from Carnegie Mellon, David Updegraff from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and Lisa-Beth Lambert of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” SSgt Franke was a freelance musician in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C. SSgt Franke, the son of MGySgt Philip Franke, a Marine Band euphonium player, and MSgt Susan Franke, USMC (ret.), a former Marine Band violist. In addition, SSgt Franke’s grandfather, the late David K. Johnson, was a retired Marine Band trumpet/cornet player. The Frankes are the first family to span three generations within “The President’s Own.”

Watch SSgt Franke perform Stringapalooza!
Watch his performance of Ludvig van Beethoven's Grosse Fuge in B-flat.

Violinist Staff Sergeant Karen Johnson

Violinist Staff Sergeant Karen Johnson joined “The President’s Own” Marine Chamber Orchestra in March 2011. SSgt Johnson began her musical training at age 4. After graduating in 1996 from Highland High School, she earned a bachelor of arts from The Juilliard School in New York in 2000 and a master’s degree in music from the University of Maryland in College Park in 2002. Her notable instructors include Dr. William Magers of Arizona State University, Joel Smirnoff of the Juilliard String Quartet, and William Preucil, concertmaster of The Cleveland Orchestra.

Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” SSgt Johnson served as concertmaster of the Richmond Symphony and guest concertmaster of the Phoenix Symphony, Seattle Symphony, and the Oregon Symphony in Portland. In addition, she has worked with a variety of renowned conductors and musicians, such as James DePriest, Sergiu Commissiona, Yuri Temirkanov, Victor Yampolsky, Gerard Schwarz, and Joseph Silverstein.

Watch SSgt Johnson's performance of Eugène Ysaÿe's Sonata in D minor, Opus 27, No. 3, "Ballade."

Violinist Gunnery Sergeant Erika Sato

Violinist Gunnery Sergeant Erika Sato joined “The President’s Own” Marine Chamber Orchestra in August 2003. GySgt Sato began her musical training at age 3. After graduating in 1994 from Beaverton High School in Beaverton, Ore., she attended the Juilliard School in New York, where she earned a bachelor’s in 1998 and a master’s in 2000. While at Juilliard, she studied with Masao Kawasaki.

Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” GySgt Sato was a titled and tenured member of the Colorado Symphony in Denver and a frequent performer with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Opera house orchestra in Washington, D.C. She has given recitals and made solo appearances across the country with such groups as the Oregon Symphony in Portland and National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, Colo. GySgt Sato has participated in chamber music festivals in Loon Lake, N.Y.; Aspen, Colo.; Banff, Alberta Canada; Norfolk, Conn.; and at Tanglewood in Lenox, Mass. She also has collaborated on several recordings and film projects.

Watch MSgt Madrid and GySgt Erika Sato perform Bruce Dukov's arrangement of John Philip Sousa's "The Stars and Stripes Forever."
Watch her performance of Johann Sebastian Bach's Chaconne from Partita No. 2 in D minor for Violin, BWV 1004.

Violinist Staff Sergeant Chaerim Smith

Violinist Staff Sergeant Chaerim Smith joined “The President’s Own” Marine Chamber Orchestra in November 2007. SSgt Smith began her musical training on piano at age 3 and violin at age 6. After graduating in 1998 from Memorial High School, she earned a bachelor of music degree in violin performance from the Manhattan School of Music in 2003. Her notable instructors include Lucie Robert of the Manhattan School of Music and Kenneth Goldsmith of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University.

Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” SSgt Smith performed with the Harrisburg Symphony in Pennsylvania, and taught violin and piano and freelanced in the New York tri-state area.



Violinist Staff Sergeant Sheng-Tsung Wang

Violinist Staff Sergeant Sheng-Tsung Wang joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Chamber Orchestra in June 2007. Staff Sgt. Wang began his musical instruction at age 8, after emigrating to the United States from Taiwan. Upon graduating in 1993 from Centennial High School in Ellicott City, Md., he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in violin performance from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where he studied with Victor Danchenko. Staff Sgt. Wang earned his doctor of musical arts degree at the University of Maryland in College Park, where he studied with Gerald Fischbach. His notable instructors include Eugene Drucker of the Emerson String Quartet, Elaine Mishkind, and the late Mark Ulrich.

Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” Staff Sgt. Wang founded the Gemini Piano Trio and has been heard as part of the Arts Club of Washington concert series and on National Public Radio. He has performed at the following festivals: the Quartet Program at the State University of New York in Fredonia; Yellow Barn Music Festival in Putney, Vt.; La Jolla SummerFest in La Jolla, Ca.; and Taos School of Music, in Taos, N.M. In addition, he has taught at the Peabody Preparatory in Baltimore, Howard Community College in Columbia, Md., and the Levine School of Music in Washington, D.C.

Watch SSgt Wang perform Stringapalooza!
Watch his interview spoken in his native Chinese about the 2013 Inauguration.
Watch his performance of Ludvig van Beethoven's Grosse Fuge in B-flat.
Watch his performance of Concerto for Violin and Winds by Kurt Weill.