Colonel Jason K. Fettig
Colonel Jason K. Fettig is the 28th Director of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band. He joined in 1997 as a clarinetist and soon became a frequently featured soloist with both the band and the Marine Chamber Orchestra. After serving four years in the organization, he was selected as an Assistant Director, and he conducted his first concert with the Marine Band Aug. 1, 2001. He was commissioned a first lieutenant in July 2002, promoted to captain in August 2003, and became the band’s Executive Officer the following year. He was promoted to major in August 2007 and to lieutenant colonel in July 2014, one week before assuming leadership of “The President’s Own.” He was promoted to his present rank in August 2017 in the Roosevelt Room by President Donald J. Trump. He is the third Director of “The President’s Own” to be promoted to colonel in a White House ceremony.
As Director, Col. Fettig is the music adviser to the White House and regularly conducts the Marine Band and Marine Chamber Orchestra at the Executive Mansion and at all Presidential Inaugurations. He also serves as music director of Washington, D.C.’s historic Gridiron Club, a position held by every Marine Band Director since John Philip Sousa. In his first years as Director, Col. Fettig has led the band for numerous major national events both at the White House and throughout the country. He conducted national broadcast performances for the 200th Anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner at Ft. McHenry in Baltimore, a special Veterans Day performance with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Salt Lake City, and an appearance on the David Letterman Show at the invitation of Michelle Obama in New York. He leads frequent concerts throughout the Washington, D.C., area and across the country during the band’s annual national tour. Live performances by the Marine Band under his direction are often heard on National Public Radio. Col. Fettig is a fervent advocate for both traditional and contemporary American music and remains dedicated to the ongoing development of music for wind band. In recent years, he has conducted world premières of substantial new works by James Stephenson, Jacob Bancks, David Rakowski, Adam Schoenberg, David Conte, and Narong Prangcharoen.
Throughout his career with the Marine Band, Col. Fettig has been deeply committed to music education and has taken an active role in the evolution and expansion of the many educational initiatives of “The President’s Own.” In addition to helping refine the Music in the Schools and Music in the High Schools programs, he has made it a priority to maintain a significant presence in schools throughout the nation during the band’s national concert tours. He also began an interactive and theatrical Young People’s Concert series in 2006 and authored, hosted, and conducted this popular annual event until 2015. In 2014, shortly after assuming command of the Marine Band, Col. Fettig launched an ambitious project to re-record all of the marches of John Philip Sousa and provide free performance and educational materials online to schools throughout the world.
Col. Fettig is a 1993 graduate of Manchester Central High School in New Hampshire and holds two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (UMass) in both clarinet performance (1997) and music education with an emphasis in conducting (1998). In 2005, he earned a master’s degree in orchestral conducting at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) where he served as assistant conductor for two productions of the Maryland Opera Studio. He studied clarinet with Michael Sussman and David Martins, and his principal conducting teachers were Malcolm W. Rowell and James Ross. Additionally, Col. Fettig has participated in workshops with several renowned conductors including Osmo Vänskä and Otto Werner Mueller.
Col. Fettig has represented the Marine Band on numerous occasions as a soloist, adjudicator, and clinician, and regularly conducts both concert bands and orchestras for all-state and honor festivals. In 2014, he was elected as a member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association.
Watch Col. Fettig's interview about his 2013 Young People's Concert: "Sound Off!"
Major Ryan J. Nowlin
Assistant Director Major Ryan J. Nowlin joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in August 2010 as staff arranger. He was appointed Assistant Director and commissioned a first lieutenant in July 2014, earned the rank of captain in July 2016, and was promoted to his current rank in January 2020. He was appointed Executive Officer and Senior Assistant Director in May 2018.
With “The President’s Own,” Maj. Nowlin has arranged and composed a variety of music for the Marine Band, Marine Chamber Orchestra, brass ensembles, and various small ensembles. He has written arrangements for an array of guest artists for national events, including a 2013 collaboration with Kelly Clarkson (“America”) and Beyoncé (“The Star-Spangled Banner”) for the second inauguration of President Barack Obama. He also arranged “The Star-Spangled Banner” for Jordin Sparks, which was performed for the nationwide broadcast of the national anthem’s 200th anniversary celebration in 2014.
Maj. Nowlin’s music has been heard in performance at numerous White House events, including receptions, state dinners, and President Trump’s televised Fourth of July South Lawn celebration. His wind band transcriptions have been recorded on four Marine Band albums to include “From the Keyboard” (Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor); “Picture Studies” (David Conte’s A Copland Portrait); “Arioso” (Bach’s Fantasia and Fugue in C minor); and “A Leonard Bernstein Tribute” (Leonard Bernstein’s Scenes from A White House Cantata). Additionally, his Let Freedom Ring was performed at the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, and his arrangement of Amazing Grace is regularly included as part of the annual United States Marine Corps Worship Service held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. In 2013, Maj. Nowlin composed the concert march “The Montford Point Marines” honoring the first African Americans to serve in the United States Marine Corps, and in 2018, he wrote the march “Century of Service” in honor of 100 years of women’s service in the Corps.
As Assistant Director, Maj. Nowlin’s responsibilities include conducting the Marine Band and Chamber Orchestra in their winter/spring concert series and summer concerts on the National Mall as well as at ceremonies in the national capital region and at the White House. Additionally, he has conducted the band at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna, Va.; at The Midwest Band Clinic in Chicago; on the Marine Band’s national concert tours; and on the band’s 2019 tour to Japan.
Maj. Nowlin has served as a producer for the Marine Band annual recordings since 2014, for The Complete Marches of John Philip Sousa recording project since its inception, and for the Emmy award-winning program “New England Triptych” in partnership with the All-Star Orchestra.
Maj. Nowlin is also the unit’s Education Officer. Throughout his career, he has been a dedicated advocate for music education. He currently manages Marine Band educational outreach initiatives such as Music in the Schools, Music in the High Schools, Tour Educational Outreach, and the Concerto Competition for High School Musicians, and has been involved in the Marine Band’s Young People’s Concerts since 2011. Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” Maj. Nowlin was a music teacher in the state of Ohio for 10 years, most recently as the director of bands at Brecksville-Broadview Heights City School District.
Maj. Nowlin is a 1996 graduate of North Royalton High School in Ohio. He earned both a bachelor’s degree in music education in 2000 and a master’s degree in music education and conducting in 2004 from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where he studied horn with Herbert Spencer, Jr. and conducting with Bruce Moss and Emily Freeman Brown. He has also studied composition with prolific composer Anne McGinty and has participated in workshops and master classes with several renowned conductors and educators including H. Robert Reynolds, Mallory Thompson, Col. Arnald Gabriel, Harry Begian, and Frederick Fennell.
In addition to his duties with the United States Marine Band, Maj. Nowlin frequently appears as a guest conductor with high school honor bands, community and municipal bands, and with university ensembles across the country. His published music and methods are used in lessons and performances around the globe, and he can frequently be found providing clinics and master classes to student musicians in classrooms around the country.
Major Douglas R. Burian
Major Douglas R. Burian has served with “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band since 1997 as a trumpeter/cornetist, Operations Assistant, Operations Chief, and Operations Officer. He was appointed Executive Assistant to the Director in June 2018 and promoted to his current rank in August 2018. As the chief advisor to the Director for non-musical matters, he serves as the officer-in-charge of the United States Marine Band’s Support Staff, which consists of the following sections: administration, information systems, music library, music production, the office of communication, recording lab, and supply.
Major Burian graduated in 1991 from DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Md., and received a bachelor’s degree in music from Centre College in Danville, Ky., in 1995. In 1997 he earned a master’s degree in music from the University of New Mexico (UNM) in Albuquerque and received his doctoral degree in trumpet performance at the University of Maryland (UMD) in College Park in 2008.
Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” Major Burian toured China with the New Mexico Brass Quintet and was the 1994 National Brass Winner for the Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Artist Competition. As a member of “The President’s Own” trumpet section, he performed 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. He was also active as a performer and conductor for the Marine Chamber Ensembles recital series.