TANNER, Ala. – Master Sergeant Jason Sanders has been making memories at some of our nation’s most historic events. A Tanner High School graduate, Sanders is now part of the prestigious U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, which allowed him to perform at the inauguration of president Joe Biden.
Sanders says his road to playing with the elite musical group started during his high school years.
“While I was at Tanner High School, I studied trumpet with BB Black, who is in Decatur. From there, I went to Louisiana State University, did my Bachelor’s degree in Music Education, and then after that, I went on to graduate school and got my Master’s in Trumpet at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.”
This isn’t the master sergeant’s first presidential inauguration – it’s his fifth! He says that being part of the U.S. Army Band has given him opportunities that musicians don’t get and each experience has its similarities and differences. Sanders says his most memorable inauguration was in 2016. That’s when he fulfilled his new role in the Herald Trumpets.
“What I didn’t realize at the inaugurations, until I was part of the Herald Trumpets, was that when we are at the Capitol, we are standing behind everyone, every single past president, the president that’s being sworn in, all of Congress, all the Supreme Court judges – they’re all there in addition to all the other VIPs in America, political or otherwise.”
But this year was a bit different for the trumpet player. He says the atmosphere was unique and a little sad.
“The crowds of all the previous ones are pretty significant; people typically are cheering, there’s always some protestors at everyone at them, too – but, you know – it’s typically a joyful moment and a lot of celebration with the way we honor our leaders and bring in our new leaders to the offices that they hold.”
Even though this the 2021 inauguration was different, the master sergeant says that some feelings will always remain the same.
“It’s an honor to be there; it’s a moment where you’re always kind of in awe of what you’re around just as a trumpet player.”
Sanders added that he’s not only humbled and appreciative of his position with the U.S. Army Band, but he says being there is not only an honor to represent the people of Alabama, but a thank you to those who helped him pave his road to the White House.