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Featured Profile for Musician

Stephen Giove

When I was six years old, I first played at a PTA meeting. I heard applause and knew that’s what I wanted to do for my lifetime career. After graduating from Berklee College of Music and working as a freelance drummer for a couple of years, I joined the Marine Corps.

To get into the Marine music program, I had to audition. Even though I joined as a musician, I went through marine combat training just like everybody else. Everyone is a rifleman first. It doesn’t matter if you are a musician, helicopter mechanic, or a computer programmer. I still do my physical fitness tests twice a year. I also do other military training to maintain Marine status.

After boot camp at Parris Island and Marine Combat Training at Camp Lejeune, I attended and graduated from the Basic Music Course at the Armed Forces School of Music. My first assignment, as a percussionist and drummer, was with the Quantico Marine Band. I held several different positions from Enlisted Band Leader to Junior Enlisted Conductor after that.

I left the Marine Corps to attend the University of Mississippi and get my Masters of Music. I taught music for about three years, then reenlisted and was assigned to the Parris Island Marine Band. I was promoted to Staff Sergeant and served as both the Small Ensemble Leader and Enlisted Conductor. I’m currently the Band Officer for the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Band.

Our band of about 50 enlisted musicians plays for ceremonies, at parades, and at football games. We also play for homecomings when troops come back and when they leave. When people hear the Marine Corps band, they stand up a little straighter and are proud of who they are. Our music brings out the best in people.

Throughout my career, I have performed for thousands of people in the U.S. and overseas, and have composed and arranged music for the concert band, field band, jazz band, jazz combo and brass quintet. My personal awards include the Navy- Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal.

Music is my way of communication and my way of expressing myself. I love to communicate with folks to make them feel good, feel happy, make them sing, and make them proud. I want to make them feel good about themselves and remind them of who they are.

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