The U.S. Army Field Band eNewsletter, November 2017
THREE GENERATIONS OF MUSIC AND SERVICE
In August 2016, Tiffany Hoffer became the newest member of The U.S. Army Field Band's trumpet section. While most new additions to the band are unfamiliar with Army life, Staff Sergeant Hoffer is a third-generation Army musician. . . and her grandfather was himself a member of the Army Field Band.
Bernard Hoffer, Staff Sergeant Hoffer's grandfather, was Staff Arranger with the Army Field Band from 1958 to 1962. Highlights from his enlistment include serving as the pianist/conductor of the Studio Band (which later became the Jazz Ambassadors), working with fellow Eastman School of Music graduate Sam Fricano (later the Commander of the Army Field Band), and arranging countless pieces for the band, including his favorite, Smetana's The Moldau. Serving in the Army Field Band was the beginning of an impressive career for Mr. Hoffer. He made many lasting personal and professional relationships while with the band, most notably with trombonist-turned-conductor Richard Pittman, and has earned numerous accolades for his work in television and film, including The MacNeil/Lehrer Report and animated shows Thundercats and Silverhawks. He was nominated for an Emmy for his work on The MacNeil/Lehrer Report, and has won six Clio awards.
Bernard's son, Gil Hoffer, began playing the trumpet at age nine. He received two music degrees from Indiana University, served as an Army Bandsman in the 4th Army Band (Fort Sheridan, Illinois), 8th Army Band (Seoul, Korea), the Army Ground Forces Band (Atlanta, Georgia), the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps (Fort Meyer, Virginia), and finally, The U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own." Sergeant Major Gil Hoffer will retire in 2018, after serving 20 years with the Army Band. His Army career has taken him from concerts in the Demilitarized Zone in Korea to Avery Fisher Hall in New York City, and performances for every U.S. President since Ronald Reagan. A highlight of his career was playing "The Stars and Stripes Forever" side-by-side with the People's Liberation Army Band of China, and seeing Chinese officials clapping along in the audience. "The relationships we help facilitate can have a positive impact on the geopolitical climate in which our Army operates," says Sergeant Major Hoffer. "This impact can only be measured in the wars that may not have to be fought, and the young men and women who may not have to die because of what we do." Most meaningful, though, has been the privilege of playing Taps to honor fallen Soldiers and Veterans, and "assisting their loved ones in their grief."
Sergeant Major Gil Hoffer's daughter Tiffany was born in Seoul, Korea, and lived most of her life in northern Virginia. Sergeant Major Hoffer always supported Tiffany and her sister in their passions. Sharing a love for music and the trumpet has led to a deep and supportive bond between father and daughter. Like her father, Tiffany attended Indiana University, and received her Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music. She participated in summer festivals and freelanced in New York City, until auditioning and winning a position with the Army Field Band. She has quickly become a valued member of the Concert Band's trumpet section.
"I was not only deeply proud of her achievement," remembers her father, "but also happy for her because of the unique opportunity she will have to connect with the entire country on behalf of the Army through her love of music."
With so many Army musicians in one family, one might expect some inter-organizational rivalry, but that is not the case with the Hoffers. They frequently attend one another's performances, both in person and online, and they continue to learn from each other. "I'm proud to come from a line of military musicians," says Staff Sergeant Tiffany Hoffer. "They have incredible careers, and I'm excited to follow in their footsteps."
FALL TOUR 2017
Fall Tour 2017 is underway! The Jazz Ambassadors and Concert Band & Soldiers' Chorus are bringing the Army story to the Upper Midwest through November 20!
Join the Jazz Ambassadors in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to hear the military's finest practitioners of jazz and swing. The Army's official touring big band, this 19-member jazz ensemble has received widespread acclaim at home and abroad, earning the Jazz Ambassadors the title "America's Big Band." This concert is free and open to the public.