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Marine Band Members
Assistant Principal Violin
Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Franke

Violinist Gunnery Sergeant Christopher Franke of Springfield, Va., joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in January 2007. He was appointed assistant principal violin in April 2019.

Gunnery Sgt. 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,” Gunnery Sgt. Franke was a freelance musician in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C.

With the orchestra, Gunnery Sgt. Franke performs regularly at White House State Dinners, receptions, and other functions and appears with the Marine Chamber Orchestra in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

Gunnery Sgt. Franke is the son of Master Gunnery Sgt. Philip Franke, USMC (ret.), a former Marine Band euphonium player, and Master Sgt. Susan Franke, USMC (ret.), a former Marine Chamber Orchestra violist. In addition, Gunnery Sgt. Franke’s grandfather, the late Master Gunnery Sgt. David Johnson, was a retired Marine Band trumpet/cornet player. The Frankes are the first family to span three generations within “The President’s Own.”