As the world watched the 2013 Inaugural Parade unfurl Monday down Pennsylvania Avenue, three local musicians who play for the armed forces marched just paces away from their commander-in-chief, President Barack Obama.
Dressed in tricorn hats, white wigs and red greatcoats, Army Staff Sgt. Alexander Kuldell, son of Matthew and Rebecca Kuldell of Falls Church, and Army Spec. Sofia Hailu, a Falls Church native, marched with the U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, one of the Army’s premier musical organizations and the only unit of its kind in the armed forces.
Master Sgt. Christopher Quade, originally from Burke, marched with the 99-piece Ceremonial Brass, the U.S. Air Force Band’s all brass and percussion ensemble. The band was accompanied by an 80-person Honor Guard.
Kuldell, a snare drummer with eight years of service in the Fife and Drum Corps, says he plans to re-enlist this month. He is a 2000 graduate of Falls Church High School.
“I am honored and proud to be a part of such a historic event,” he said.
Hailu, a 2002 graduate of a homeschool program in Falls Church, joined the Fife and Drum Corps this past year as a fifer. She joined the Army in 2010, serving as a flutist with the U.S. Army Europe Band in Heidelberg, Germany. A fife is a type of flute.
Quade, a tubist and section leader, has served in the U.S. Air Force since 1996.
The groups have been preparing for several months, Hailu said, “beginning with music rehearsals and then putting the music together with precision marching.”
City of Fairfax Fire Chief Dave Rohr was honored at the fifth annual All American Inaugural Ball on Jan. 20 at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill. The event is a tribute to “American heroes,” who sacrifice on behalf of others every day.
The Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Greater Washington office nominated Rohr for his leadership and vision in helping with MDA’s Fill the Boot campaign. Rohr’s two stations have collected more than $50,000 each year that he has participated.
“Chief Rohr was instrumental in implementing the City of Fairfax’s Fill the Boot program,” said Stephanie Hall, fundraising coordinator for Greater Washington MDA. “His department proves the small are mighty … They have one of the highest per capita collections of any in the country.”
Rohr, a Washington, D.C., native, has worked in fire and rescue for 35 years.
Many area thespians were recognized for their excellence in theater production when nominations for the 13th annual Washington Area Theatre Community Honors (WATCH) program were announced Jan. 20.
Forty-three musicals and 83 plays were adjudicated in 2012. Seven Fairfax County companies participated in the WATCH adjudication, and the following were nominated:
• Alliance Theatre: one nomination for “Nunsense.”
• Elden Street Players: 10 nominations for “Clean House,” “Flowers for Algernon,” “Glengary Glen Ross” and “Rooms, A Rock Romance.”
• McLean Community Players: seven nominations for “Deathtrap” and “Man of La Mancha.”
• Providence Players: 19 nominations for “Side Man,” “Sleuth” and “YouCan’t Take It with You.”
The WATCH Awards will be announced March 17 at the Birchmere in Alexandria. For more, visit www.washingtontheater.org.
Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has appointed these local residents to state boards and commissions.
• Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Luther Kirk Wiles III of Clifton, founder and owner of Paradise Springs Winery.
• Board of Nursing: Joyce Hahn of Oak Hill, director of BSN Programs at The George Washington University School of Nursing.
• Governor’s Advisory Board on Volunteerism and National Service: Juanita Balenger of Annandale, Community Outreach and Triad director with the Office of the Attorney General; and Rich Nilsen of Alexandria, vice president of Summit Wealth Management.
• Veterans Services Foundation: Francis Finelli of McLean, managing director of The Carlyle Group.
• Virginia Cave Board: Daniel Doctor of Reston, research geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey.
• Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority: Vincent Boles of Annandale, general manager of the Advanced Technology Division for Aerospace Corp.
• Virginia War Memorial Foundation, Board of Trustees: Brig. Gen. Wilma Vaught of Falls Church, president of Women in Military Service Memorial Foundation.
Army Reserve Pfc. Dino Ponce has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C. He is the son of Dino Ponce and Linnette Navarett, both of Alexandria.
Army Pvt. Nathaniel Larson has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Sill in Lawton, Okla. He is the son of Eric Larson of Burke.
Air Force Airmen Jerome Depondicchello, Anthony Baker, David Kriner II, Christopher Pease, Diamond Sellers, Matthew Dross and Austin Lingren, Air Force Airmen 1st Class Tyree Wright and Jeanne Pinsky and Air Force Reserve Airman Richard Gore have graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.
Depondicchello, son of Marylou Depondicchello of Burke, is a 2010 graduate of Robinson Secondary School.
Baker, son of Jeff Baker of Vienna and Tracy Soto of Sacramento, Calif., is a 2012 graduate of James Madison High School.
Kriner, son of David Kriner of McLean and Catherine Mundorf of Ellicott City, Md., is a 2011 graduate of Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Md.
Pease, son of Deanna Davis of Ellenton, Fla., is a 2010 graduate of Westfield High School.
Sellers, daughter of Nadine Sellers of Lorton, is a 2012 graduate of Hayfield Secondary School.
Dross, son of Hartman Dross of Centreville and Stephen Fox of Cape Charles, is a 2008 graduate of Oakton High School.
Lingren, son of Dan Lingren of Roxboro, N.C., earned distinction as an honor graduate. He is a 2004 graduate of Oakton High School.
Wright, son of Trinita White of Centreville, is a 2011 graduate of Woodson High School.
Pinsky is the daughter of Geoffery Pinsky of Alexandria and Nicole Spruill of Red Oak, Texas.
Gore, son of Bernadine Gore and Wayne Cameron, both of Herndon, is a 2007 graduate of Herndon High School.