Staff Sgt. Courtney Martin
-Photo by Staff Sgt. Chrissy Rivers
I am from Stafford, Virginia. I started college at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and completed my bachelor’s degree in flute performance at the University of Texas at Austin in 2012 (hook ’em horns!). I have two dogs, Freya and Gromit.
Marianne Gedigian (UT Austin), Jennifer Steele (Pittsburgh Symphony), and David Lonkevich (Washington D.C.)
I became interested in the flute in elementary school after hearing a recording of Jean Pierre Rampal. Other influences are Julius Baker, Marianne Gedigian, Jennifer Steele, David Lonkevich, Jeanne Baxtresser, Susan Milan, Amy Porter, Steven Finley, Bonita Boyd … this list can go forever. I find every flutist influential, because they all have great musical ideas 🙂 As for non-musicians, my biggest influences are my grandfather and my mother. They both worked so hard and came from nothing. It is very inspiring and has taught me to never give up, and to continue to go after exactly what I want.
-Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Willie Calohan
When did you join the Army?
In 2012. I attended basic training at Fort Jackson, then the Army School of Music in Virginia Beach, and my first band was the 392nd Army Band.
I am currently working on two video projects — one is for the first football game of the season. It is a slideshow of the plebes’ journey so far at West Point (R Day, CBT). The second is for the 1812 concert. I am also working on classes for Master Resilience Training for the unit. I love teaching about that subject. I teach lessons on Skype for my students back in Virginia.
What do you enjoy doing off-duty?
I enjoy reading. Give me a book and I’m happy. I’m also a huge “Doctor Who” fan (check it out if you haven’t yet!) and also love the show Merlin. I really like cooking and often look to Pinterest for new recipes.
I love food and am willing to try almost any kind. I have recently started taking my dogs hiking, which we all enjoy doing.
I knew I wanted to be a musician when…
I saw my first performance of the President’s Own in middle school.
An Army performance highlight:
I really enjoyed when we went to the VA Hospital last year. It was very touching to talk to veterans and hear all of their stories as well as see their faces light up when we played tunes like Gary Owen for them. Also, our Scotland trip was pretty amazing. Being in a new country and experiencing the culture firsthand was pretty remarkable and a memory I will always hold close to me. When I was stationed at Fort Lee, we participated in Music in Our Schools Month. We had a performance on my birthday and my team leader had the whole elementary school sing happy birthday to me—and in that same performance, one of the kids informed me that I was “their favorite artist on the radio.”
Any military band (West Point, Army Field Band, Pershing’s Own, Navy, President’s Own) has been my dream job since I was 12.
Did you know?
I actually lived in Florida the first 14 years of my life in a one-stoplight town. I wanted to be a veterinarian, pilot, artist, and writer (all at once … dream big!) from age 3 to 12. Then, music took over.
I am currently getting my master’s degree in sports and performance psychology. I can knit and sew. I used to sew outfits when I was in the fourth to sixth grade and compete in sewing competitions.
Did I say I was obsessed with Doctor Who?