Being a member of the USAAAMB is an incredible honor for everyone that has been a part of it, but for some it means just a little extra. This is the case for trumpet player Landon Grigsby (Ocean Springs High School, Ocean Springs, MS). Landon’s grandfather was Major General Leo B. Jones of the United States Army. Major General Jones served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars, taught at the U.S. Army War College and worked at the Pentagon. Landon believes that being accepted to the USAAAMB has been more special to him because of his grandfather’s history. “He passed away when I was nine years old. I went to his funeral in Arlington and… the only difference, that I know of, between his funeral and a presidential funeral is the President has a twenty-one gun salute and he had a thirteen gun salute.” states Landon. The ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery was a very special moment for Landon and his family and a great way to honor his grandfather’s legacy.
Landon has been playing the trumpet since 5th grade. “At my school district, when we’re in 5th grade the band directors come down from the middle school and the high school and they bring a couple of instruments and mouthpieces. They see what everybody wants to play and what they’re good on and rate them on a 1 to 5 scale,” recalls Landon. He received a 4 on percussion and a 4 on trumpet, but “all of the cool kids were doing percussion and I didn’t want to do that. I’ve been playing for about seven years now.” Landon says he was surprised when he found out that he made it into the USAAAMB, but he was thrilled. “I think I found out when I was at a clinic, so I had to kind of conceal my excitement,” says Landon, not wanting the exciting news to interrupt the trumpet clinic he was attending. The USAAAMB is not the only thing that Landon has to be excited about, however. He recently became a member of 41st Army Band in Mississippi. Landon will be playing 1st trumpet in 41st Army Band Brass Quintet.
As for what he would like to do after high school, Landon is letting his passion guide him. “I want to major in music education and hopefully receive my Doctorate in music,” says Landon. Wherever his future leads him, one thing that’s certain is that he will have the support of the rest of the 2015 USAAAMB to rely on.
Watch Landon and the rest of the USAAAMB perform live during halftime of the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Saturday, January 3rd at http://www.banddirector.com. Kickoff is at 1pm EST/12pm CST!