Playing for the inauguration of a president

During my career in the U.S. Navy Band in Washington, DC, I played for many inaugural parades and some inaugural balls. These were usually cold and sometimes wet (I never played in the snow for one).  I remember President Obama’s first inaugural parade, when the whole production stopped for two hours because Senator Ted Kennedy collapsed with a seizure. The band was already on the street, so we had to wait there in the 20-something degree weather until the parade started again! There were many great musicians in the Navy Band when I was a member, including Nathan Zgonc, who now plays trombone in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra–he was also there on that first Obama Inaugural Parade.

This year, there will be a virtual “Parade Across America” and a 12-year old trumpeter from Atlanta, named Jason Zgonc, will be one fo the performers. Jason is the son of Nathan! Jason’s story provided inspiration last year during the pandemic. He would play his trumpet to salute healthcare workers at Emory Healthcare in Decatur every night through the summer. Check out this wonderful news interview (link is external and cannot be embedded)!



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