WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — From Wichita to Washington D.C.

A Wichita State University (WSU) Shocker is on his way to our nation’s capital to join The President’s Own United States Marine Band; America’s oldest continuously active professional musical organization. The Marine Band was formed by an Act of Congress in 1798 while the White House was still under construction.

On this spring morning, Billy Berue plays his trumpet for me and for you in Wichita State’s Wiedemann Hall.

Next month, he will be playing for the President of the United States.

“It’s a huge honor to be part, to be offered a position, and to be part of The President’s Own Marine Band,” said the WSU graduate student in trumpet performance.

The native of Southern California and Arizona State undergraduate has been a dream student at WSU, says Associate Professor of Trumpet Dr. David Hunsicker.

“So, Billy came to us at a very high level playing at a professional level before he was even here. But I think it’s sort of like in sports. You have players who think that they’re all that in college, and, you know, it’s another level to get to the pros. Billy was never like that. He was always prepared to continue to work hard,” said Dr. Hunsicker.

Billy was called in for a two-day, three-round audition. He competed against 90 other trumpet players.

“I guess I always knew that I wanted to be part of a bigger ensemble. Like, whether that had been an orchestra or a band since I was basically a freshman in high school,” said Berue.

“Oh, it’s a great honor for Billy and certainly for our school. I couldn’t be more excited to have a student achieve something like that,” said Dr. Hunsicker. “I’m as excited about my students who are teaching in public schools as well. You know, this is something different, though. Certainly.”

Berue enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps for his eight-year stint with the Marine Band, where he will perform in Marine Chamber Orchestra concerts, for foreign dignitaries, on Induction Days, at military funerals, sporting events, and so much more.

“Billy is a wonderful student. He’s a wonderful player. He’s a tremendous trumpet player, but he’s equally a great person. And I think that’s a big reason for his success, and he’s going to represent our country very well,” said Dr. Hunsicker.

“I’m very excited to start my career in this amazing band with amazing colleagues. I mean, I’ve already had people reach out to me telling me congratulations and just looking forward to working with you, and I think that it’s just going to be a lot of fun just getting to do what I have always wanted to do,” added Berue.

Berue will load up a U-Haul and head to Alexandria, Virginia, next week. While he’s serving in The President’s Own Marine Band, he plans to continue working on his Master’s of Music degree. He’s completed one year of a two-year program under Dr. Hunsicker.