Chesterfield had an inside connection to yesterday’s inauguration ceremony in the form of Staff Sgt. Preston Hardage, a member of the “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band.
Hardage graduated from Parkway Central in 1999 and then went and to earn a bachelor’s degree in music and performer’s certificate in 2004 from Indiana University in Bloomington. A trombonist, he joined the Marine band in October 2004 and is currently pursuing his master’s degree from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” Hardage performed with the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckinridge, Colo. Hardage performs with the Marine Band, Marine Chamber Orchestra, and Marine Chamber Ensembles at the White House, in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, and across the country during the band’s annual concert tour.
On March 4, 1801, the Marine Band performed for Thomas Jefferson’s inauguration and research suggests that the band has participated in every presidential inaugural since. An accomplished musician himself, Jefferson recognized the unique relationship between the band and the Chief Executive and is credited with giving the Marine Band the title, “The President’s Own.”