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.
Master Gunnery Sgt. Cradler performs with the Marine Band and Marine Chamber Orchestra at the White House, in the Washington, D.C., area, and across the country during the band’s annual concert tour. 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. As a founding member of the U.S. Marine Band’s Tuba-Euphonium Quartet, he performed at the U.S. Army Band Tuba-Euphonium Conference in 2005 and 2010. The quartet has also been featured at ITEC in 2006 in Denver, 2008 in Cincinnati, and 2010 in Tucson, Ariz. In 2007 the members of the quartet were guest artists at the Leonard Falcone International Tuba-Euphonium Festival in Lansing, Mich., and in 2008 gave a performance at the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Master Gunnery Sgt. Cradler gave a lecture presentation at ITEC in 2016 in Knoxville, Tenn., and has also presented master classes at numerous colleges and schools throughout the country by invitation and while on tour with the Marine Band.
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. He was appointed Assistant Principal Tuba in February 2016. 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.
Staff Sergeant William Samson
Tuba player Staff Sergeant William Samson joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in February 2016. Staff Sgt. Samson began his musical training on the tuba at age 11. After graduating in 1999 from Appleton North High School he earned a bachelor’s degree in music performance in 2003 from Lawrence University in Appleton. He continued his studies, earning a master’s degree from Rice University in Houston in 2005 where he studied with Dave Kirk of the Houston Symphony. He is currently working on a doctorate at the University of Houston where he is studying with Mark Barton of the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra and Houston Ballet Orchestra.
Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” he performed with the Houston Symphony, Houston Grand Opera Orchestra, Houston Ballet Orchestra, the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, and the Paragon Brass Ensemble, all in Houston.
Master Sergeant Mark Thiele
Tuba player Master Sergeant Mark Thiele joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in June 1998 and was named assistant section leader in November 2013. Master 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,” Master 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 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 2014. He studied with Dave McCollum of WVU, Jason Smith of OU, and David Zerkel of UGA.
Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” he performed with the Dayton Philharmonic in Ohio. In 2012 he won the International Tuba Euphonium Conference’s (ITEC) Solo Artist competition and was a prizewinner at both the Markneukirchen International Competition in Germany and the Leonard Falcone Competition in Lansing, Mich.
He was a soloist at the Army Band Tuba-Euphonium Conference in 2013 and played recitals with the American Tuba Quartet at the conference in 2014-2015. He also was a featured soloist at ITEC in Knoxville, Tenn., in 2016.