South Lake Tahoe Native participating in 4th Inauguration Day
Army Sgt. First Class Jesse Tubb is no stranger to the big stage.
As a member of the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own,” the South Lake Tahoe native has performed at the White House and the Pentagon. The sound of his trumpet has served as a goodbye for fallen soldiers — which he says is his greatest honor — and a greeting for foreign dignitaries, including Queen Elizabeth.
And as the nation’s capital enters the frenzy of Inauguration Day festivities, Tubb will be there with 89 other bandmates marching from the Capitol to the White House, where the newly sworn in president, Donald Trump, will observe the inaugural parade.
In a way, the band will be the kickoff to the entire parade.
It will be Tubb’s fourth Inauguration Day performance.
“It’s an immense honor to be a part of something so historic,” Tubb said in an interview earlier this week.
Several days before the interview, Tubb and other parade participants spent around eight hours going through the necessary security clearances before doing a dry-run of the parade. As for the actual performance, Tubb said there is little variation. It is the same each time.
“Logistically it seems like things are fairly similar.”
But that does not mean the significance of witnessing the nation’s formal peaceful transition of power is diminished. Nor does it mean that Tubb is absent of his personal beliefs.
But as is the case across the U.S. armed services, personal beliefs are — or are at least supposed to be — secondary to respect for the presidency.
“I’m a human being so I have my own personal beliefs and ideas on things and I’m certainly passionate about things that I believe in, and depending on who has been in office certainly my personal feelings have swayed from one side to the other, but the importance of what I do and the significance of what I do doesn’t change, regardless of who’s in office … and the honor that I feel in being able to … be a part of this process doesn’t change regardless of who’s in office. It’s the office that I respect and honor, not necessarily the person, and that’s a military tradition,” Tubb said.
Along with the parade, the band also performs at the inaugural ball. It’s a day of witnessing history, and it’s part of a career in the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” — which dates back to 1922 and is described as “the premier musical organizations of the United States Army” — filled with memorable moments.
“It’s almost a daily dose of perspective for some of the things I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of,” Tubb said. “Just to realize the larger impact of what is going on in the District [of Columbia] and then to be able to support that is pretty awesome. It’s a tremendous honor and something I didn’t set out to do leaving high school.”
Among those experiences, playing “Taps” at Arlington National Cemetery is the most significant, according to Tubb.
“Any time I do that it’s probably one of the most significant things I feel like I do as a trumpet player in the Army Band … it’s our theme for honoring the people who served our country … Being able to play ‘Taps’ and be the vessel for that and those families is going to be by far the most significant contribution I will have felt through my military service.”
Asked about the place he grew up in, the 40-year-old father of two said he misses Tahoe.
“I feel extremely fortunate to have grown up there.”