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"The President's Own"


"The President's Own"

United States Marine Band

Colonel Jason K. Fettig, Director
Unit News
“The President’s Own” to Feature Soloist John Rommel at the NTC

By Master Sgt. Kristin duBois | United States Marine Band | March 17, 2015


The Marine Band has a long-standing tradition of featuring trumpet and cornet soloists during its concerts. In recent history, the band has shared the stage with such luminaries as Phil Smith, John Hagstrom, and Vince DiMartino, to name a few. So it seemed a natural fit for the Marine Band to perform at the annual National Trumpet Competition (NTC), which will take place at
7 p.m. on March 19 at the Calvin and Janet High Center of Worship and the Performing Arts at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pa. The featured soloist is trumpet professor John Rommel of Indiana University in Bloomington.

Rommel was principal trumpet of the Louisville Orchestra in Kentucky from 1988-96 and has performed throughout the United States, France, and Germany. He has recorded more than 30 compositions with the Louisville Orchestra by many of the leading composers of the 20th century. In addition, he has performed chamber music with Summit Brass, the Saint Louis Brass Quintet, and the Nashville Contemporary Brass Quintet. Rommel has recorded commercially in Indianapolis and in Nashville, Tenn.; he was a clinician for the Vincent Bach Corporation; and was a student of William Adam, Louis Davidson, and Leon Rapier. He undertook additional studies with Vincent Cichowicz and William Scarlett.

Rommel took a few moments from his busy schedule to share some thoughts about this upcoming performance:

“I’ve heard great things about the [Marine] band since I was in high school. It’s always been the premiere band in the United States, but my first-hand knowledge of the band didn’t really occur until a little later for me. Once I began teaching at Indiana University in 1993, I became much more familiar with the incredible performances of the band, as well as the fantastic job opportunities. I’ve had numerous students audition for the Marine Band over the years and have actually had three students win positions with the band, [most recently] Brad Weil—a great trumpet player! I’ve enjoyed seeing several YouTube videos of him playing solos with the band.”

“I also do a lot of recording work for Hal Leonard Music, working with the producer/arranger Paul Lavender. Paul works closely with John Williams and has also written several arrangements for the Marine Band. It seems like every time I see Paul he either plays something from his computer of the band or is talking of a recent experience he has had working with the band. His excitement is palpable! All of these recordings are absolutely stunning. The Marine Band is simply one of the great musical ensembles of the world.”

“As for my opportunity to perform with the Marine Band at NTC this March, I am very humbled to have this opportunity. When I was first contacted about playing at NTC, I was not told which band would be performing on the concert. When I heard it was going to be the Marine Band, my heart skipped a few beats! This is going to be a great honor for me and I’m truly excited to be able to share the stage with such great musicians.”

“I would like to perform David Gillingham’s When Speaks the Signal-Trumpet Tone. I’ve performed this piece several times and have been struck with both its power and beauty. It utilizes C trumpet, flugelhorn, and piccolo trumpet. I think it is a fantastic piece and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to play it with the Marine Band. I believe its themes pay great honor to the military.”

The concert is free, but tickets are required. Patrons without tickets will be admitted at 6:45 p.m. For more information about tickets, visit: www.messiah.edu/tickets. The Calvin and Janet High Center of Worship and the Performing Arts at Messiah College is located at One College Avenue in Mechanicsburg, Pa.

Complete concert program and notes

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