Master Sergeant Jihoon Chang
Bass clarinetist Master Sergeant Jihoon Chang joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in October 1990. MSgt Chang began his musical instruction at age 12. Upon graduating in 1984 from Granite City High School, he earned a bachelor’s degree in music in 1988 from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, where he studied clarinet with Howard Klug. He continued his education at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., where he studied with Ken Grant of the Rochester Philharmonic and earned a master’s degree in music in 1990. In 2010, he received his doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Maryland in College Park.
In 2004, Master Sgt. Chang performed a transcription of Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Concerto for Violin, Opus 35 as a featured soloist on the national concert tour. And in 2008 he performed Paul Lavender’s arrangement of John Williams’ “The Tale of Viktor Navorski” from The Terminal, with the composer conducting in a gala 210th anniversary concert at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
Watch Master Sgt. Chang's interview in Korean about the 2013 Inauguration.
Master Gunnery Sergeant Jay Niepoetter
Bass clarinetist Master Gunnery Sergeant Jay Niepoetter joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in June 1988. Master Gunnery Sgt. Niepoetter began his musical instruction at age 7. Upon graduating from Centralia High School in 1983, he attended Northern Illinois University (NIU) in DeKalb, Ill., where he earned a bachelor’s degree in music performance in 1988. While at NIU, he studied clarinet with Melvin Warner of Dekalb and J. Lawrie Bloom of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In 1996, MGySgt Niepoetter completed a master’s degree in music performance at the University of Maryland -College Park (UMD) and won the Homer L. Ulrich Award for excellence in performance. He completed his doctor of musical arts degree at UMD in 2004.
Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” Master Gunnery Sgt. Niepoetter was a member of the Rockford Symphony Orchestra in Rockford, Ill., and a member of the Wheaton and DeKalb Municipal Bands, also in Illinois.
He coordinates educational outreach clinics on tour and performed as a soloist in Centralia on the Marine Band’s 1999 tour.