Our Warsaw Army JROTC has provided Color Guard teams through the years for Memorial Day events in our area. However, this was the first year that we ever performed “Taps.” We did this because the local American Legion was going to use an electronic bugle. One of my Cadets, Mariana Conde, played the National Anthem at our Military Ball in April and she did it with little warning. I asked her if she could perform Taps for the (high-profile) community event, and she said she would. I told the American Legion we’ll be playing Taps. They wanted to do a duet Taps, but it was too rigid and wouldn’t allow for errors. I say “errors” but the notes aren’t mistakes but a note that’s played too long might cause things to go wrong. I checked w/ Cadet Conde and she said her fellow Cadet, school band member, and trumpeter would be up to working on the duet with her. Both Cadets have parents emigrated from Mexico. So how cool is that.. To have two immigrants’ children playing Taps! Both Cadets are athletic and also academically strong, and represent my program and school very well. As they are also childhood and neighborhood friends, they worked w/ someone from the school band to figure out the music for it and how to execute it.
Our Color Guard used 3 LET3s (Kohler, McLaughlin, Hoffman), one LET2 (Shilling), and one LET1 (Kelley).
The hosting corporation was Zimmer Biomet, one of the largest orthopedic manufacturers in the world. The host was LTC (R) James Waldrop. There was a plan if it was raining to do this inside. So we rehearsed this event for both indoor and outdoor scenarios. Additionally, I brought our Cadets there during a large break in the day, so that they could play the Duet Taps before the event and time it with the plan and our Color Guard.
The video that was live-streamed on Facebook is the end result and it was done professionally.
Duet Taps Trumpets: (C/CPL Mariana Conde (female) / C/CPL Joaquin Viera (male))
Color Guard: (1st Rifle: C/1SG Aaron McLaughlin / American Flag: C/CSM Preston Kohler / Indiana Flag: C/1LT Aaron Hoffman / Battalion Colors: C/2LT Michael Shilling / 2nd Rifle: Talia Kelley)