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Staff Sergeant James Wright

Staff Sergeant (SSgt) James Wright is a trombonist with the United States Air Force (USAF) Heritage of America Band, where he is a member of the Concert Band and the Heritage Brass ensemble. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA his Air Force career began in 2014.

In the summer of 2021, SSgt Wright helped celebrate the 30th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence by performing in Kyiv, Ukraine with 120 coalition force musicians for 1.7M people. Later that year, he was able to volunteer his time in support of Operation Allies Refuge and Operation Allies Welcome. Part of his work included sorting and delivering food and clothing to evacuees. It was extremely humbling to be able to directly impact and help which amounted to over 120,000 people evacuated, and is now considered the largest non-combatant military airlift in U.S. history. He was subsequently awarded a Humanitarian Service Medal. Some other highlights of his Air Force career include performing with the L.A. Philharmonic, the rock band Chicago at the Hollywood Bowl, and marching in the 2017 Tournament of Roses, Rose Bowl Parade.

SSgt Wright holds a Master’s degree in Trombone Performance from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Trombone Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music. His teachers include Peter Sullivan, Massimo La Rosa, and Richard Stout. Prior to enlisting in 2014, he frequently performed with orchestras throughout the United States including the Stockton Symphony, Symphony Napa Valley, Mid-Atlantic Wind Symphony, Piedmont Symphony Orchestra, and the Warren Philharmonic.

EDUCATION
2010 Bachelor of Music, Trombone Performance, the Cleveland Institute of Music, Cleveland, OH
2012 Master of Music, Trombone Performance, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
2019 Airman Leadership School
2020 Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education I

ASSIGNMENTS
1. March 2015 – November 2018, Trombone, Band of the Golden West, Travis AFB, California
2. November 2018 – January 2022, Trombone, United States Air Forces in Europe Band, Ramstein AB, Germany
3. January 2022 – present, Trombone, Heritage of America Band, Langley AFB, Virginia

MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Air and Space Commendation Medal
Air and Space Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air and Space Organizational Excellence Award
​AF Good Conduct Medal with one oak leaf cluster
National Defense Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
​Humanitarian Service Medal
Air and Space Longevity Service Award
USAF NCO PME Graduate Ribbon
Air and Space Training Ribbon

EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Airman First Class Mar 2015
Senior Airman May 2017
Staff Sergeant 01 Apr 2019

(Current as of May 2022)