MARINE CORPS LOGISTIC BASE ALBANY, GA -- In boot camp Marines are taught to strive for excellence and perfection. They are taught to give a 110 percent to everything they do, whether it's their jobs, or being a Marine. One Albany Marine carried this from boot camp to his current duty station and was recently recognized by the Marine Corps for being an outstanding Marine and musician.
Cpl. John K. Stanz III, Albany Marine Band trumpet player, recently received the Marine Corps Musician of the Year Award.
Stanz, a Washington Township, N.J., native, displays his musical talent in each of the Marine bands he plays in, including the ceremonial, concert, party, show and jazz bands.
Master Gunnery Sgt. Matthew R. Farquhar, Bandmaster of the Albany Marine Band, was impressed with Stanz's performance as a Marine and musician.
"This is not just a musical award," said Farquhar. "They [officials] screened Stanz's BIR [Basic Individual Record], BTR [Basic Training Record], PFT [physical fitness test] and rifle range scores. He has a high first-class PFT, rifle expert and has completed numerous Marine Corps Institute courses. He has done everything you would expect of a meritorious Marine.
"I submitted Corporal Stanz's name for the award, to represent the Albany Marine Band," said Farquhar. "His daily demonstration of musical abilities is far beyond what is required of a staff NCO."
Farquhar feels that Stanz has no limits on what he can achieve or any goal he pursues, in and out of the Marine Corps.
Stanz graduated Trenton State College in Ewing, N.J., with a bachelor's degree in music education. After graduating, he tried teaching high school, but he soon decided to join the Marine Corps.
Stanz scored high enough on his entry music audition that he did not have to attend the Armed Forces School of Music, at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Va., like most military musicians.
Stanz, a Parris Island graduate, has been in the Marine Corps for 17 months. He decided to join the Corps to be a musician because he loves playing the trumpet, but he was also interested in a military life.
At the age of 8, Stanz picked up his first trumpet and still plays the trumpet to this day. He decided to play the trumpet because he was intrigued by solo performances made by a high school band trumpet player.
"I was initially interested in soloing because I liked to be in the spotlight and have the attention," said Stanz. "But I have been playing for 14 years, and now I play for the love of music."
Stanz was turned on to music by his musically orientated family.
"Everybody in my family does something musically, whether it's playing the trumpet or the piano," said Stanz.
The Albany Band rehearses daily, but Stanz feels that is not enough if he wants to be the best musician he can be.
"You have to have a certain discipline to practice after work," said Stanz. "When we [the band] go on long trips, I make sure I have my trumpet with me at all times, so I can practice when time is available. If you want to excel and exceed above and beyond, you have to put in the extra effort."
A noncommissioned officer and a staff NCO from each of the 12 bands in the Marine Corps is nominated for the Marine Musician of the Year Award. Each Marine submitted an audio-tape of them playing, and a package containing their Marine Corps awards or achievements. A panel of judges reviewed the information and a winner was selected.
Stanz is not sure if he will make the Marine Corps his career, but he knows he wants to be involved with music for the rest of his life.