Command Staff

COL Andrew Esch

COL Andrew Esch

Leader and Commander | from Fairfax, VA


Colonel Andrew Esch is a native of Fairfax, VA, and holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Michigan State University and a Master of Arts degree in conducting from George Mason University. He began his Army career as a Quartermaster Officer serving first as a Platoon Leader and HHC Executive Officer in the 11th Transportation Battalion, Fort Story, VA, and then as a Staff Officer in the Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Operations Center during Operation Desert Storm.

Following Desert Storm, he left the Army to join The U.S. Air Force Band in Washington, D.C. as a French horn player. After three years as an instrumentalist Col. Esch returned to the U.S. Army as a commissioned band officer.

Since then, Col. Esch has served the Army across a broad spectrum of assignments most recently as 24th Commander of the US Military Academy Band at West Point, New York, the Army’s primary public engagement organization for New York City and the Northeast region. At West Point he and the band represented the Army with regular performances for FOX, NBC’s TODAY show and with internationally renowned groups such as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Col. Esch’s other assignments include: Commandant, U.S. Army School of Music, Virginia Beach, Virginia; Deputy Commander, The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own;” Commander of the US Army Europe Band & Chorus in Heidelberg Germany; Commander of U.S Continental Army Band, Fort Monroe, Virginia; Executive Officer & Ceremonial Officer of The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own;” and Commander, Student Company, U.S. Army School of Music.

Col. Esch and his wife have three children.

MAJ Aaron Morris

MAJ Aaron Morris

Executive Officer | from Finksburg, MD


Major Aaron Morris serves as the Executive Officer of the U. S. Army Band, as the Associate Conductor and Officer in Charge of the Army Ceremonial Band, the Army Herald Trumpets, and the Army Strings and he is the Officer in Charge of the Army Band Support Element. A native of Finksburg, Maryland, he holds a Bachelor of Music Performance from the University of Maryland, a Masters of Music Education from Old Dominion University, and a Masters of Operational Studies from the Command and General Staff College. His previous teachers and mentors include Dale Underwood, Dennis Zeisler, and Dr. Nancy Klein.

Major Morris began his military career in 2005 as a saxophonist with the 257th Army National Guard Band in Washington, D.C. In 2007, he joined the Training and Doctrine Command Band at Ft. Monroe, Virginia. While at the TRADOC Band, he was the first awardee of the Army Bands Soldier of the Year Award.

Major Morris received his commission in 2009 from the Officer Candidate School at Ft. Benning, Georgia where he was a Distinguished Military Graduate. He was then assigned to the Army School of Music in Little Creek, Virginia where he served as Executive Officer. He later served in the Army Forces Command, G-1 as the Staff Bands Officer, at the Forces Command Headquarters at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In this position, he was responsible for the evaluation and support of all aspects pertaining to the 76 FORSCOM Army Music Units. Major Morris then served as the Executive Officer of the United States Army Europe (USAREUR) Band and Chorus. During his tenure with the USAREUR Band and Chorus, the unit performed in over 25 countries for over 250 million people. Some highlights of his time with the USAREUR Band and Chorus include organizing and leading the NATO Saxophone Ensemble at the 2015 World Saxophone Congress, performing at the 2016 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, and leading the Soldiers’ Chorus in performances in Kyiv, Ukraine. Most recently, Major Morris was in command of the Maneuver Center of Excellence Band at Ft. Benning, GA.

Major Morris’ military awards include: the Meritorious Service Medal (2 OCLs), Army Commendation Medal (5 OLCs), the Army Achievement Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Army Overseas Service Ribbon. Major Morris also holds an Additional Skill Identifier as an Information Operations Planner.

Major Morris and his wife, Meredith, have two lovely children, Brynn and Holden.

CPT Richard Viglucci

CPT Richard Viglucci

Associate Conductor | from Albany, NY


Captain Richard Viglucci serves as an Associate Conductor with The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” in Washington, DC. A native of Albany, NY, he holds a Bachelor of Music in Clarinet Performance from SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, a Master of Music in Clarinet Performance from Northwestern University, a Master of Music in Conducting from Northern Arizona University, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Clarinet Performance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. CPT Viglucci’s DMA document, A Comparative Study on Nineteenth-Century Works for Clarinet Based on Motives from the Operas by Gaetano Donizetti, studied the historical background of nineteenth-century operatic fantasy for clarinet, its importance and niche in the culture of nineteenth-century Italy, and its uses by clarinet virtuosi from that period.

His academic awards include the Crane Certificate of Merit, the Rocque E. Dominick Memorial Award, the Crane Certificate of Honor in Music Performance, the Hixson-Lied Graduate Fellowship, and the F. Pace Woods Graduate Music Scholarship. Performance awards include the 2003 Julia Crane Concerto Competition for his performance of Aaron Copland’s Concerto for Clarinet, Strings and Harp, the 2012 UNL Concerto Competition for his performance of Luigi Bassi’s Fantasy on Themes from Verdi’s Rigoletto, and the 2012 Chiara Quartet Chamber Competition for his performance of Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet, op. 115.

Prior to joining the Army, CPT Viglucci was an active clarinet performer and teacher. Former contracted orchestral positions include the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra, Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra and Minot Symphony Orchestra, as well as regular substitute engagements with the Omaha Symphony Orchestra. Previous teaching positions include Director of Bands and Woodwinds at Minot State University, Instructor at Union College in Lincoln, NE, Director of Bands at Northland Preparatory Academy in Flagstaff, AZ, and summer teaching at Camp Encore-Coda, ME.

CPT Viglucci’s previous military assignments include Clarinetist with the United States Army Ground Forces Band at Fort Bragg, NC (2014-15), Executive Officer and Associate Conductor of the TRADOC Band at Fort Eustis, VA (2015-18), and the Executive Officer and Associate Conductor of the 1st Cavalry Division Band at Fort Hood, TX (2018-20). His military training includes Army Musician Advanced Individual Training, JEB Little Creek, VA; Officer Candidate School, Fort Benning, GA; Basic Officer Leadership Course, JEB Little Creek, VA; and Captain’s Career Course, JEB Little Creek, VA.

CPT Viglucci’s military awards include the Army Commendation Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters; the Army Achievement medal; the National Defense Service Medal; the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; and the Army Service ribbon.

CW3 Benjamin McMillan

CW3 Benjamin McMillan

Associate Conductor | from Dacusville, SC


Chief Warrant Officer Two (CW3) Benjamin W. McMillan is a native of Dacusville, South Carolina, to Hugh and Virginia McMillan. He completed secondary education at Wade Hampton High School in Greenville, South Carolina. Mr. McMillan graduated from nearby Furman University in 2000, earning Cum Laude honors with both the Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and the Bachelor of Music degree in Trumpet Performance. Mr. McMillan subsequently earned the Master of Music degree in Trumpet Performance from the University of North Texas in 2003. He also attended the University of South Carolina for post-graduate study in music and served as a band graduate assistant.

Mr. McMillan joined the South Carolina Army National Guard as a Musician (Trumpet/Bugler) with the 246th Army Band in April 2005. He graduated Basic Combat Training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, in June 2006, and he was selected for early completion of Advanced Individual Training at the US Army School of Music at Join Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia. His Active Duty enlisted assignments include the Training and Doctrine Command Band, Ft. Monroe, Virginia, the US Army Europe Band and Chorus, Tompkins Barracks, Germany, and the US Army Signal Corps Band, Ft. Gordon, Georgia. Mr. McMillan is a Commandant's List graduate of Warrior Leader Course, an Honor Graduate of Advanced Leader Course, and an Honor Graduate of Warrant Officer Candidate School. Mr. McMillan’s most recent military education includes Warrant Officer Basic and Advanced Courses. Prior to leading The Army Blues and Downrange, Mr. McMillan led the 1st Infantry Division Band, Fort Riley, Kansas, and the 399th Army Band, Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri.

Throughout his military career, CW3 McMillan has enjoyed performing as featured soloist and guest conductor across the United States and Europe to include guest-conducting the St. Louis and Salina Symphonies and recording with the International Military Musicians Society. In December 2019, Mr. McMillan led the 1st Infantry Division Brass Quintet on a troop morale deployment in support of the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve across Kuwait, Iraq, and austere locations in Syria, representing the first US Military music mission in that country. Mr. McMillan is a recipient of the Colonel Finley Hamilton Outstanding Military Musician Award. He has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (2OLC), the Army Commendation Medal (3OLC), the Army Achievement Medal (4OLC), the Army Good Conduct Medal (2nd Award), the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal. Mr. McMillan is an alumnus of Sigma Pi Sigma, Pi Kappa Lambda, and Phi Beta Kappa Honor Societies in Physics, Music, and Academics.

Chief Warrant Officer Two McMillan has been married for eighteen years to Mary Lee McMillan, daughter of Harold and Elizabeth Grumann. They have one child Benjamin Wade (“Mac”) McMillan, Jr. (9) and a cat Grace.

CSM Julian Ayers, Sr.

CSM Julian Ayers, Sr.

Command Sergeant Major | from Washington, DC


Command Sergeant Major Julian R. Ayers, Sr. was appointed the fifth Command Sergeant Major of The United States Army Band "Pershing's Own" in September 2019. A native of Washington, D.C., CSM Ayers started his career in the trombone section of the Ceremonial Band and joined the Herald Trumpets in February of 2001. In January 2016 he was appointed Unit Drum Major.

CSM Ayers earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Duquesne University in 1996 and a Master of Music degree from the same institution in 1998. While at Duquesne, he studied with Robert Hamrick and Murray Crewe. He has performed professionally with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Wheeling Symphony prior to joining The U.S. Army Band. Significant missions with the Army Band include the opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, five Presidential Inaugurations, Recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the Korean War, and the Rededication of the St. Lawrence Seaway to name just a few.

Military awards earned include the Meritorious Service Medal, 2nd award, the Army Commendation Medal, 4th award, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, 6th award, Global War on Terrorism Medal, and the National Defense Medal.



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