Master Sgt. Dan Pierce
My two brothers and I played low brass instruments growing up in the Albany, New York, area. The family calendar revolved around preparation for NYSSMA state solo contest in the spring. Later on during high school near Cleveland, Ohio, I became very interested in jazz through my teacher’s influence, and I was glad that I had chosen trombone considering its versatility in jazz, orchestral, band, salsa, and pop situations. I learned upright bass and bass guitar as a secondary instrument along the way. I’ve always enjoyed listening to everything from classic rock to classical music, so my favorite aspect of life in the West Point Band is the variety of opportunities I’ve had in numerous ensembles and performance settings.
Paul Ferguson, John Marcellus, Mark Kellogg, Mark Fisher
For some reason, we listened almost exclusively to the Beatles, Eric Clapton, and lots of classic rock when I was really young. Then it was the ’90s MTV stuff, plenty of alternative and grunge. Later on, I learned about symphonic music and jazz and started researching the main players, and then found out about things like the ECM label, and loved all of the music I absorbed from friends at Eastman. I still enjoy everything from pop to avant-garde.
When did you join the Army?
Summer of 2006
The Benny Havens Band is excited about a country/rock record that we just recorded in Nashville. We think there is some material on there that will really hit home with current service members as well as the American public.
What do you enjoy doing off-duty?
I love spending time with my one-year-old son, my wife, and our dog Max (my other son). I’ve done some home improvement projects lately, some turning out better than others. Occasionally I get the running bug and work up to a full marathon.
I knew I wanted to be a musician when…
I was inspired by how driven and enthusiastic my first mentor, trombonist And composer/arranger Paul Ferguson, was about all of his musical projects and endeavors.
A performance/job highlight:
Opening Day national anthem at the new Yankee Stadium; playing for Wounded Warriors at the New York City Veterans Day Parade lineup site.
Did you know?
Beginning with high school and college summers and until I joined the Army, I have worked at a country club, at Dairy Queen, at a medical facility, at a medical billing office, at a payroll company, driving a delivery truck, as a real estate agent, and in the band on a cruise ship.