Seattle native Harry Ong helped to usher in President Joe Biden’s administration on Jan. 20 as a member of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band. The band performed “Hail to the Chief” and accompanied Lady Gaga for her performance of the national anthem.
Gunnery Sgt. Ong plays the clarinet and he began his musical training at age 9. He attended Roosevelt High School in Seattle and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he received a bachelor of music in 2003.
This is Ong’s fifth inauguration performance.
“It’s amazing to look back and know that I have had the honor and privilege to serve in and have a front row seat at these different snapshots of American history,” Ong said. “The experiences have…given me the opportunity to appreciate moments of celebration for the Black and AAPI communities such as President Obama’s inauguration in 2009 and last week with the swearing in of Vice President Harris.”
Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” Ong performed with the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Band, and Contemporary Directions Ensemble, and the Seattle Youth Symphony.
Fellow clarinet player Staff Sergeant Tyler Hsieh is also Asian American. Hsieh is from San Jose, California.