Redstone Report: Unique, musical career in the military - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Redstone Report: Unique, musical career in the military

Staffieri plays the flute and Sgt. First Class Steven Hoppe is a clarinet player. (Source: WAFF) Staffieri plays the flute and Sgt. First Class Steven Hoppe is a clarinet player. (Source: WAFF)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

When you join the military you have a lot of options. You can be anything from a computer specialist to a battle hardened front-line grunt or you can put your artistic talents to good use in the Army Band.

“I was actually a music major in college,” said Specialist Gina Staffieri.

Staffieri plays the flute and Sgt. First Class Steven Hoppe is a clarinet player.

“I came in right out of high school,” explained Hoppe.

Both have musical aspirations and both play for the Army Materiel Command Band. They are in one of the music performance teams called Saturn 5, the woodwind quintet.

“I didn’t even know the military had a band,” said Staffieri.

“I get those reactions of ‘So that’s all you do? You play the clarinet. What do you do all day?’ Yes I play the clarinet and we do army stuff,” said Hoppe.

While the Army Band is their full-time job, they are still soldiers through and through.

“Do we do all the things a soldier does? The answer is yes,” said Staffieri.

“We have to go shoot weapons, pushups, situps, running, basic training, it’s another career in the military,” explained Hoppe.

We asked Staffieri and Hoppe what the main job of a solider-musician is.

“We support the troops while they’re deployed. We play music, we do morale functions, we support the troops by playing music,” explained Hoppe.

Staffieri and Hoppe consider themselves the go-between for the military and civilian worlds.

“We get to interact and relate to people and most people in the army don’t get to. They do what they do. Our job is to support them, to relate to the community, to bridge that military/civilian gap,” said Hoppe.

They said the most rewarding part of the job is spending time in schools.

“These are my favorite type of jobs to do. Getting out the message we do play music in the Army. I don’t think kids understand soldiers do other things besides going to war,” said Staffieri.

“We have a great opportunity, wearing the uniform, being in the Army, having a skill that allows us to go in the public,” said Hoppe.

Hoppe and Staffieri said being in the band is enjoyable and it gives them a sense of pride.

There are other bands through AMC. They play at different venues nationwide, and then, overseas for the troops.

Right now, the AMC band is gearing up for this year's Armed Forces Celebration Week and Redstone's 75th-anniversary event in June.

For more information on the band, click here.

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