Alumnus Earns Coveted Spot with Military Band Ensemble
Pat Furlo represents the MSU Horn studio with prestigious U.S. “Pershing’s Own” Army Band.
Pat Furlo took up the French horn in middle school, never thinking he would someday play for one of the premier bands in the United States.
In August, the 2015 music education and honors graduate of the MSU College of Music began a journey that led to a seat in the horn section of the U.S. “Pershing’s Own” Army Band in Washington, D.C. It’s a journey that began in his small town of Clarkston, Mich., traversed to East Lansing for his bachelor’s, then wound its way to Juilliard for a master’s.
“For the last six or seven years, I’ve always been going someplace else,” says Furlo. “In high school, I knew I was going to MSU. At MSU, I knew I was going to New York City. Now I’m finally at that point where I’m going to be in place where I can stay for a while, make connections and friends, and settle down for a bit to enjoy doing what I love.”
During his first year at Juilliard, Furlo auditioned for the various bands comprised of musicians who serve as representatives of the U.S. Armed Forces. He was accepted into the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” in mid-2016, enlisted as a soldier, and left for his 10-week basic training in Ft. Sill, Okla., in late August. After completing his training, Furlo will move to Washington, D.C., and continue his four-year enlistment as member of the U.S. Concert Band—one of several bands and ensembles within the “Pershing’s Own” organization.
Furlo plans to concurrently finish his master’s at Juilliard after getting settled in with the premier band that renders musical honors for U.S. leaders, foreign dignitaries and heads of state, diplomats, and veterans. He credits his MSU teachers, professors, and conductors—including Professors of Music Kevin Sedatole and Kevin Noe—for showing him what it takes to be professional musician and to play at the highest level.
“They were all simply fantastic,” says Furlo. “They were great role models and great musicians, and incredibly hardworking and dedicated. They showed me the type of work ethic it takes to get a career in music.”
Sedatole concurs that Furlo was always ready to step up and do what was needed to make his passion a lifelong career.
“There was never any doubt that Pat would go on to succeed if that's what he wanted,” says Sedatole of the time he worked with Furlo in the College’s Horn Studio. “His musical drive and determination will serve him well as he begins his service with the outstanding musicians of the United States Army Band ‘Pershing’s Own.’”