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SM East grad who helped plan Inaugural Parade credits band teachers for inspiration
It’s fair to say that without the inspiration of two SM East-area band teachers, last week’s Inaugural Parade in Washington, D.C., wouldn’t have gone off like it did.
Because if Meadowbrook Junior High’s Jim Leacocks and SM East’s Al Hanna hadn’t helped foster Jerry Amoury’s love of music, he never may have gotten serious about the trombone.
And if he hadn’t ever gotten serious about the trombone, he may never have joined the U.S. Army Band.
And if he hadn’t ever joined the U.S. Army Band, he wouldn’t have had the opportunity to help plan the Inaugural Parade as part of the Presidential Inaugural Committee.
“My years as a Lancer were really important to me,” Amoury said. “And those two guys [Leacocks and Hanna] really set the tone. I think every band geek feels the same way. Those guys were legends to me.”
Amoury joined the Army Band in 1989 after finishing a graduate degree in trombone performance at the University of Texas – Austin. He’s lived in the D.C. area since 1995, where he frequently performs at high-profile government events.
“I remember doing a Christmas show at the White House in 1995 and thinking to myself, ‘I really should contact Al Hanna and let him know how much he meant to me,’” Amoury said. “It was one of those moments where you think, ‘I wouldn’t be here doing this if it weren’t for him.’”
Amoury’s commander invited him to take on the role of helping plan the parade last summer. In the months that followed, he organized a website where interested groups could apply to participate in the parade, and then was part of a presentation to the Inaugural Committee in early December on recommendations for which groups to include.
“I was such a thrill to be involved like that,” Amoury said. “It’s something I’ll never forget.”
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