My name is Terrina Anderson. I'm a sergeant and a clarinetist stationed at Fort Huachuca Arizona. I had been thinking about military bands since college, but I didn't know a lot about bands except I knew that the ones that I had heard—or heard of—were really good. They had excellent musicians, and I thought, 'Okay, this is a chance for me to work with some really great musicians and just do a lot of playing.' That's something that my teacher from Michigan said when he had heard that I was going to go into the Army. He said you're going to be playing a lot, and it'll be a good experience. When you get out then you can teach or do whatever you want then.
The thing I like most about being a musician is being able to touch people in some way. I think that everybody is touched by music. It's not necessarily the same kind of music, but whether it's rock music or country music or rap or classical, whatever kind of music—everybody has a favorite kind of music and I think it's such a wonderful thing to be able to speak to people to their emotions using that language.
Our band performs a chamber series. For one of them I did a Chopin fantasy piece, which was really romantic. One part is really tragic-sounding and then the last one is really fiery. And I finished the first movement of that piece, and I heard someone in the back go, "Whoa." And it's just the coolest thing to think that you've touched someone in that way--that you affected them so that they just kind of sit there and it's-- it's hard to describe. The other side too is if you're playing music and it makes people want to tap their feet, or some of the most fun concerts we've done at Fort Huachuca are concerts we've gone out and done all patriotic music. And you look out and you see all these retired people that come to Arizona to live, and they're out there -- some of them even get kind of teary eyed because they're just so proud of their country. It's fun to watch their reactions.
You know the Army is a great opportunity to make a living playing music. You can create opportunities for yourself -- for playing and teaching and not have to worry about paying the bills. So, it's a really great opportunity for doing that.