Master Sergeant Christopher Shieh
Violist Master Sergeant Christopher Shieh joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Chamber Orchestra in June 1996. He was appointed principal in 1997 and string section commander in 2020. Master Sgt. Shieh began his musical training at age 10. After graduating in 1985 from Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, Md., he earned a bachelor’s degree in music in 1991 and continued graduate studies at the University of Maryland in College Park, where he studied with Roberto Diaz and Michael Tree.
Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” Master Sgt. Shieh was principal violist with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra in Hagerstown and the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra in Maryland. He also has performed with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra in Washington, D.C., and at the Lancaster Festival in Ohio.
Watch Master Sgt. Shieh perform Soulima Stravinsky's String Quartet No. 3.
Gunnery Sergeant Sarah Hart
Violist Gunnery Sergeant Sarah Hart joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Chamber Orchestra in January 2009. Gunnery Sgt. Hart began her musical training at age 6. After graduating in 2002 from Rosati-Kain High School in St. Louis, she earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and minors in music and chemistry in 2006 from Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., where she studied with Dr. Sam McClure. In 2008, Gunnery Sgt. Hart earned a master’s degree in viola performance with an additional focus in pedagogy from Indiana University in Bloomington, where she studied with Atar Arad, former member of the Cleveland Quartet. In 2015 she earned a doctorate from the University of Maryland in College Park where she studied with Dan Foster, principal viola of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. She also has studied with Dr. Catharine Carroll at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado.
Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” Gunnery Sgt. Hart performed at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, and as a member of the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic and the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra in Indiana.
She was a featured viola soloist for Bohuslav Martinu’s Rhapsody Concerto with the Marine Chamber Orchestra in 2011 and Sir William Walton’s Concerto for Viola and Orchestra in 2016. In addition, she oversees program and script development for the Marine Band’s Music in the Schools and Music in the High Schools educational programs.
Watch Gunnery Sgt. Hart perform Stringapalooza!, Ludwig van Beethoven's Grosse Fuge in B-flat, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Trio in E-flat, Kegelstatt, K. 498.
Gunnery Sergeant Tam Tran
Violist Gunnery Sergeant Tam Tran joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Chamber Orchestra in January 2005. He became assistant principal viola in October 2008. Gunnery Sgt. Tran began his musical training at age 8. Upon graduating in 1994 from Appleton High School in Wisconsin, he earned a bachelor’s degree in viola performance from Northern Illinois University in Dekalb in 2000, where he studied with Richard Young of the Vermeer String Quartet. In 2003, Gunnery Sgt. Tran earned a master’s degree in viola performance and chamber music from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he studied with Yitzhak Schotten. He has pursued doctoral studies at the Stony Brook University in New York, studying with Lawrence Dutton of the Emerson String Quartet.
Notable chamber performances include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s String Quintet No. 3 in C, K. 515 and Angel G. Villoldo’s “El Choclo.”