Major Vu Nguyen became the Commander and Conductor of the Air National Guard Band of the West Coast in October of 2013. He is native of the San Francisco Bay Area and has served in the Air National Guard since 2001. Major Nguyen holds Doctor of Musical Arts in instrumental conducting degree in conducting from University of Washington, where he was a graduate teaching assistant for the wind band program. Read full bio.
Chief Master Sergeant Jürgen Schwarze joined the 562nd Air Force Band in 1985. Born in Ludwigsburg, West Germany, Sergeant Schwarze is a naturalized immigrant and was raised in the Chicago suburb of Mundelein, Illinois. He began his study of music at an early age and quickly mastered the clarinet, saxophone, and flute. After graduation from high school, he served four years as a Marine Corps Bandsman (1974-79). During this time, he was promoted meritoriously to the rank of Sergeant within two years as a member of the 3rd Marine Air Wing Band at MCAS, El Toro, California. Read full bio.
Jazz Ensemble Director
Technical Sergeant Jeff Gould has been with the 562nd since 2003, and assumed leadership of the Jazz Ensemble in 2012. Under his direction, the group's rich tradition of excellence will carry the Air Force message into the 21st Century.
Sergeant Gould was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and grew up in Southern California. From University High School in Irvine, he attended UCLA and took a Bachelor of Arts in History. After college, he made a living as a musician and returned to school for formal musical training. Upon completion of his Bachelor of Music Education at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, OK, Sergeant Gould returned California and began teaching. He has been a music educator at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels, and now holds the position of Director of Bands at San Gorgonio High School in San Bernardino, CA. He is also a candidate for Master of Arts in Trombone Performance at the University of Redlands. Read full bio.
Small Ensemble Coordinator
A native of Boston, Massachusetts, Technical Sergeant Daniel C. Plaster was a trumpet player with the Greater Boston Youth Symphony at Boston University and with the Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble at the New England Conservatory of Music. He participated in Massachusetts All-State bands and orchestras as well the All-Eastern Concert Band under Frederick Fennell. Following his graduation from Lexington High School, he was accepted as a member of The United States Army Band, "Pershing's Own" at Ft. Myer, Virginia. There, he performed in ceremonies of state for Presidents Carter and Reagan and toured with the distinguished Herald Trumpets ensemble. Read full bio.