Gunnery Sergeant AnnaMaria Mottola
Pianist Gunnery Sergeant AnnaMaria Mottola joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in June 2003. She was appointed principal and section leader in September 2013. Gunnery Sgt. Mottola began her musical instruction at age 4. After graduating in 2000 from Robert Service High School in Anchorage, she attended Arizona State University in Tempe where she studied jazz and classical piano with Chuck Marohnic, Mike Crotty and Robert Hamilton.
Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” Gunnery Sgt. Mottola participated in several competitions, winning the Arizona State University Concerto Competition in 2000 and Alaska Music Teacher Association piano competition from 1996-1998.
She has been featured as a soloist under guest conductor Leonard Slatkin in Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C, Opus 26, and was featured as a tour soloist in 2006 performing George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and in 2009 performing George Gershwin’s Allegro from Concerto in F.
Watch Gunnery Sgt. Mottola's performance of Claude Debussy's Sonata in G minor for Violin and Piano and Robert Schumann's Fantasy-Pieces, Opus 73.
Gunnery Sergeant Russell Wilson
Pianist Gunnery Sergeant Russell Wilson joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in September 2002. Gunnery Sgt. Wilson began his musical instruction on piano at age 7 with Gail McDonald. After graduating in 1999 from Surrattsville High School in Clinton, he earned his bachelor’s degree in classical piano in 2004 and a master’s degree in jazz in 2007, both from the University of Maryland- College Park studying with Cleveland Page (piano) and Ron Elliston (jazz).
Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” Gunnery Sgt. Wilson worked aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines, performing solo classical recitals and as a member of a show band.
He is a frequent soloist on piano and accordion and has performed Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Concerto for Two Pianos in E flat, Ottorino Respighi’s Concerto a Cinque, Ernest Bloch’s Concerto Grosso, Camille Saint-Saën’s Carnival of the Animals, and Richard Adinsell’s Warsaw Concerto with both the Marine Band and Marine Chamber Orchestra. He also was a 2011 tour soloist, performing Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Opus 16. In addition to his official musical duties, Gunnery Sgt. Wilson has performed for a low-income retirement home, a veteran’s home, and a home for people with severe disabilities.
Watch Gunnery Sgt. Wilson and Gunnery Sgt. Erika Sato perform Ludwig van Beethoven's Allegro from Sonata No. 5, Opus 24 "Spring Sonata."
Staff Sergeant Christopher Schmitt
Piano player Staff Sergeant Christopher Schmitt of Fairfax Station, Va., joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in August 2013. Staff Sgt. Schmitt began his musical training on the piano at age 5 and graduated from the Seton School in Manassas, Va., in 2004. He attended the New England Conservatory (NEC) in Boston before transferring to The Juilliard School in New York where he earned a bachelor’s degree in performance in 2009 and a master’s in performance in 2011. He is currently working on a doctorate in performance from Juilliard as well. His teachers included Marjorie Lee of Virginia, the late Patricia Zander of NEC, and Julian Martin of Juilliard.
Prior to joining the band, Staff Sgt. Schmitt taught privately and gave master classes in New York and in the Northern Virginia area.
Watch Staff Sgt. Schmitt's performance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Trio in E-flat, Kegelstatt, K. 498.