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"The President's Own"


"The President's Own"

United States Marine Band

Colonel Jason K. Fettig, Director

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!"

Captain Ryan J. Nowlin

Assistant Director Captain 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 and was promoted to his current rank in July 2016. He was appointed Executive Officer and Senior Assistant Director in May 2018.

With “The President’s Own,” Capt. Nowlin has arranged and composed a variety of music for the Marine Band, Marine Chamber Orchestra, brass ensemble, and various small ensembles. In 2013, Nowlin collaborated with Kelly Clarkson (“America”) and arranged a setting of “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. Capt. Nowlin’s music has been heard in performance at many White House events, including state dinners and the Kennedy Center Honors and Medal of Freedom receptions. His transcription of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor was featured on the 2013 Marine Band recording “From the Keyboard,” and most recently his setting of David Conte’s A Copland Portrait was included in the band’s 2016 release, “Picture Studies.” 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.

As Assistant Director, Capt. 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 conducted the band at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna, Va.; at The Midwest Band Clinic in Chicago; and on the Marine Band’s national concert tour. He has served as a producer for Marine Band recordings since 2014 as well as for The Complete Marches of John Philip Sousa recording project since its inception.

Throughout his career Capt. Nowlin 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, and the Concerto Competition for High School Musicians, and he has assisted in the production of the Marine Band’s Young People’s Concerts since 2011. Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” Capt. Nowlin was a music teacher in the state of Ohio for ten years, most recently as the director of bands at Brecksville-Broadview Heights City School District in Ohio.

Capt. 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, Capt. Nowlin frequently appears as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator with high school honor bands and music festivals, with community and municipal bands, and with university ensembles across the country. He can frequently be found providing clinics and master classes to student musicians in classrooms around the country either in person or via satellite.

Captain Bryan P. Sherlock

Assistant Director Captain Bryan P. Sherlock joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in May 2018. He is the first Assistant Director in the Marine Band’s history to be appointed directly from the officer corps of the Fleet Marine Force.

Upon graduating in 1985 from F. J. Reitz High School, Evansville, Ind., Capt. Sherlock attended the University of Evansville in Indiana where he studied with Dr. William Bootz and Melissa Williams and earned a bachelor’s degree in music education in 1991. He began teaching and freelance performing in Indianapolis before attending Butler University in Indianapolis to earn a master’s degree in trombone performance in 1995 where he studied with Jared Roden and Harvey Benstein. During this time, he held the position of principal trombone in the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra, while also performing in the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Monument City Brass Quintet, the Resurrection Brass Quintet, the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra in Kentucky, and regional theater orchestras.

Capt. Sherlock enlisted in the Marine Corps in November 1996. Upon completing recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego as the Company Honor Graduate in 1998, he received a meritorious promotion, completed Marine combat training at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California, and reported to the Armed Forces School of Music in Little Creek, Va. There he achieved an accelerated graduation and proceeded to the 2D Marine Division Band at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. By the time he was promoted to corporal, Capt. Sherlock was principal trombone and section leader in the concert and ceremonial bands, lead trombone in the jazz ensemble, and leader of the brass quintet, while simultaneously serving on the library staff and in the band administration section. 

In 2000, Capt. Sherlock was assigned to the faculty of the Armed Forces School of Music as a theory and ear training instructor and was promoted to sergeant. Over the next several years, he was instrumental in redesigning and writing the theory curriculum before attending the Senior Musician Course. Promoted to staff sergeant in 2004, he returned to the faculty in 2005 and added rehearsal conductor to his duties.  

Capt. Sherlock received his warrant in 2007 while attending The Basic School for Marine Officers in Quantico, Va., where he graduated among the top ten (2%) in his class. He took his first position as Officer in Charge of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific Band (MARFORPAC) in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, in 2007, and was promoted to chief warrant officer 2 in 2008. In 2011, Capt. Sherlock assumed leadership of the Marine Corps Band New Orleans and was promoted to chief warrant officer 3 in 2014. He returned to the MARFORPAC Band in 2015 prior to joining “The President’s Own.”

As Assistant Director, Capt. Sherlock'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 serves as a supervisor for the acclaimed fall and winter Chamber Music Series, which feature the virtuoso musicians of “The President’s Own,” as well as all pre-concert music.

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.


Chief Warrant Officer 3 Julia S. Piorkowski

Operations Officer Chief Warrant Officer 3 Julia S. Piorkowski joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in October 2004 as a librarian and joined the Operations staff in March 2012. She was appointed as the Marine Band’s first female Operations Officer on Aug. 1, 2018. As Operations Officer, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Piorkowski serves as the liaison to the White House Military Office for Marine Band and Marine Chamber Orchestra’s White House commitments and to the Office of Marine Corps Communication for commitments assigned by the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Chief Warrant Officer 3 Piorkowski is responsible for proposing and implementing the band’s daily work schedule, coordinating ceremonial events with the Military District of Washington, and overseeing audition procedures.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Piorkowski began her musical training on the French horn at age 9. After graduating in 1995 from Rosary High School in Aurora, she attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she earned a bachelor’s degree in French horn performance in 2000 and studied with Kazimierz Machala. She received her master’s degree in 2003 and completed her doctoral studies in 2004 at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where she studied with Randy Gardner. While she served as a Marine Band librarian she collaborated with, and received training from, the librarians of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” Chief Warrant Officer 3 Piorkowski was a freelance musician and private teacher in the Cincinnati area.