Flutist Master Sergeant Elisabeth Plunk of Moline, Ill., joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in June 2004, was named assistant principal in 2009, co-principal in 2015 and principal in January 2020.
Master Sgt. Plunk began her musical instruction at age 6. Upon graduating in 1997 from Moline High School, she earned a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory in 2001, and in 2003 received a master’s degree in music from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Her flute instructors included Randolph Bowman, the principal flute of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Jeanne Baxtresser, the principal flute of the New York Philharmonic.
Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” Master Sgt. Plunk performed with the Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh and as guest principal flute with the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo (São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra) in São Paulo, Brazil.
Master Sgt. Plunk performs with the Marine Band and Marine Chamber Orchestra at the White House, in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, and across the country during the band’s annual concert tour. She has also conducted training sessions at the Marine Corps Forces Reserve Band in New Orleans, the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Band in California, and the Parris Island Marine Band.