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TSgt Jennifer Mendez Daffinee

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Technical Sergeant Jennifer Mendez Daffinee is a clarinetist with the United States Air Force Band of the West where she is assigned to the Concert Band, the Ceremonial Marching Band, and the Nightwatch chamber ensemble. She has also been a member of the Southwest Winds, Spectrum Winds, and Mission Winds ensembles. TSgt Mendez Daffinee is a native of Corpus Christi, Texas where she graduated from Richard King High School (Summa Cum Laude) in 2001. She earned her Bachelor of Music Education Degree (Summa Cum Laude) from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in 2005, her Master of Music Degree in clarinet performance (Summa Cum Laude) from Texas A&M University-Commerce in 2009, and her Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Texas (Summa Cum Laude) in 2018. Her dissertation is entitled “Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr: American Clarinet Performer and Pedagogue.”

Prior to joining the Air Force, TSgt Mendez Daffinee taught at Bowie Middle School and Nimitz High School in Irving, Texas. Additionally, she has taught privately for twenty-one years and has been an active lesson coach, adjudicator, clinician, guest lecturer, and guest artist at many school districts in AL, AZ, CA, FL, GA, MS, and TX. TSgt Mendez Daffinee has also held positions as Adjunct Woodwind Faculty at Texas A&M University-Commerce and as a Teaching Fellow at the University of North Texas. In addition to her primary role as a musician, she is a certified Master Resiliency Trainer for the Air Force and has been stationed at the Deployment Transition Center at Ramstein Air Base (2018). Mendez Daffinee has also served as the First Term Airmen Center Non-commissioned Officer in Charge (2017).

TSgt Mendez Daffinee has taken masterclasses with many internationally acclaimed artists including Alessandro Carbonare, Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr, Howard Klug, John Scott, David Webster, and Larry Guy. Her teachers include Ronald Scott, Mary Alice Druhan, James Gillespie, and Kimberly Cole Luevano. She has also taken professional coaching with Jun Qian.

EDUCATION
2001: Richard King High School, National Merit Hispanic Scholar, Summa cum laude
2005: Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Bachelor of Music Education, Summa cum laude
2009: Texas A&M University-Commerce, Master of Music, Summa cum laude, Distinguished Graduate
2014: Associate of Applied Science in Music, Community College of the Air Force
2015: Airman Leadership School, JBSA-Lackland, Texas, Distinguished Graduate
2018: University of North Texas, Doctorate of Musical Arts, Summa cum laude


ASSIGNMENTS
1. May 2012 – Jul 2012, Trainee, Basic Military Training, JBSA-Lackland, Texas
2. Aug 2012 – Jun 2018, Regional Band Journeyman, Clarinet, Band of the West, JBSA-Lackland, Texas
3. Jul 2018 – Sep 2018, Deployment Transition Center, Resiliency Technician, Ramstein AB, Germany
4. Oct 2018 – Present, Regional Band Craftsman, Clarinet, Band of the West, JBSA-Lackland, Texas

 

MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
National Defense Service Medal
Global War on Terror Service Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal, First Oak Leaf Cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal, First Oak Leaf Cluster
Air Force Public Affairs Junior Enlisted Member of the Year
Air Force Junior Enlisted Member Award for Communication Excellence

OTHER ACHIEVEMENTS
2012: Band of the West Airman of the Quarter
2012: Wing Staff Agency Airman of the Quarter
2013: Senior Airman Below the Zone
2013: Band of the West Airman of the Quarter
2013: Wing Staff Agency Airman of the Quarter
2013: 502 ABW Airman of the Quarter
2013: Band of the West Airman of the Year
2014: Band of the West Airman of the Quarter
2014: Colonel Finley R. Hamilton Outstanding Military Musician Award
2015: Distinguished Graduate, Airman Leadership School
2016: Band of the West Airman of the Quarter
2017: Band of the West Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year
2017: Wing Staff Agency Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year
2018: Band of the West Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year
2019: Air Force Association Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year, Texas Chapter


EFFECTIVE DATE OF PROMOTION
Airman First Class 27 July 2012
Senior Airman Below the Zone 31 March 2014
Staff Sergeant 01 January 2017
Technical Sergeant 01 April 2020

Updated 24 Feb 2020