EDISON — For Briana Tarby, she said her time at John P. (J.P.) Stevens High School molded her career path.
Tarby is a First Class Petty Officer with the Coast Guard and is busy preparing for the Jan. 20 Presidential Inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump in Washington, D.C., where she will be an oboe player in the Coast Guard’s military band.
“Playing the oboe began when I was 10 years old,” she said. “I played the oboe and clarinet.”
In high school, Tarby made the choice to pick the oboe over the clarinet.
“I think less people were playing the oboe,” she said of her choice. “I also liked that it was a different instrument … now [the oboe] is my whole life.”
The 2006 J.P. Stevens graduate was a member of the New Jersey All-State Band and All-State Orchestra and through those achievements, Tarby was awarded a New Jersey Governor’s Award in the Arts from the office of former Gov. Jon Corzine in 2006.
After high school, Tarby went to music school at Indiana University. She said the career path for a wind instrument is pretty typical whether one auditions for a spot in a professional orchestra or a military band.
And that is what Tarby did — she auditioned and found her way to the Coast Guard where she is stationed in New London, Connecticut.
“I enlisted in September 2012 and joined the Coast Guard as a musician,” she said.
Tarby said all the premier military bands, which also include the United States Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force, are participating in the inaugural festivities.
“I participated in the parade in 2013 [for President Barack Obama’s re-election festivities],” she said.
Tarby said the band has a set routine for parades, but with such a large crowd, they are currently in discussion on how best to do their turns.
She said it is an honor to be involved in a part of history.
“To see how tight security is in such a huge operation and for everyone to come together to celebrate history, it is truly a testament for all people involved, military or civilian … it’s an honor,” she said.