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Jon Swengler: The YEA! Person of the Week

A Buddy Holly, meatloaf and mashed potatoes guy

Who is that fella that handles your drum corps show ticket order?
What is the background of that brass tech for The Cadets?
Who are those kids dancing in the 6th Street gallery?
What does that USSBA tabulator do in her ‘real’ life? 

There are many people that make up Youth Education in the Arts, The US Scholastic Band Association, the Urban Arts Center and The Cadets. Through our feature, Person of the Week, we introduce to you the individuals behind the scenes. Their diversity and talent will amaze you!


Jon Swengler
Full time employee, the US Scholastic Band Association


Name: Jon Swengler
Age: 22
Residence: Allentown, Pa, Originally from Huntington, Long Island
Occupation: Band Relations Representative for USSBA  

What did you do in drum corps?
Well, I first started Drum Corps with the Syracuse Brigadiers when I was 15. After that I marched with the Spartans Drum and Bugle Corps back in 2007.  

What did you do in marching band?
I first started marching back when I was 13 with the Huntington “Blue Devil” Marching Band.  I played tenor sax and was Drum Major my senior year. After High School I had the best four years marching with the University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band, where I also played Tenor Sax and was Drum Major there for my last two years. 

Who's your favorite music person, living or dead, real or fictional?
This is such a tough question because I have so many. I’m going to have to go with Buddy Holly. Not only do him and I have the same thick frames but I respect him so much as a musician and enjoy his music and learning about him.

What's the best meal you've eaten? What was it and where?
Other than my Moms’ cooking (sorry mom), I’ll have to say my favorite meal is from a place in Amherst, Mass., called Bub’s BBQ. I am all about comfort food and they win by landslide! They have the best pulled pork sandwiches, BBQ beans, mashed potatoes and more. They give you unlimited sides and it is just a great atmosphere.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
Reach out to band directors, while working with the USSBA Team to try and create the best season for local hosts, band directors, parents and students.

What was your first job?
My first job was working at the Local Coldstone Creamery. I worked there all throughout high school and was a morning manager my junior and senior year. It was so much fun because my friends would always come down to visit me and hang out at the ice cream store. I loved the people that I worked with and enjoyed the customer service. I can proudly say that I am Brownie and Ice Cream Cake Certified and I know how to write on a cake.

What's the last thing you saw in the movies?
RED and I am counting down the days for the Captain America Movie (yes I am a comic dork).

What’s your drink at Starbucks?
Tricky question - depends on the time of year. I usually though will get just a tall vanilla latte.

How often do you prepare your own meals?
I try to cook as much as possible. I make the best meatloaf with mashed potatoes with mac n cheese from scratch.

What's your favorite cereal?
Captain Crunch. I once complained to the Dining Services in college because they stopped serving it at the local dining common.

What's hanging above your sofa?
A retro travel poster for a cruise line. (I like to travel)

How much is too much to spend on a haircut?
Well since I don’t really have that much hair I would have to say that anything above $15 is a lot.

When's bedtime?
Varies, usually midnight is bedtime.

Have you been to NYC? Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square?
NYC is not just a concrete jungle where dreams are made of for me. I grew up just an hour away from the city. I only really know of the “New” Times Square so I would have to pick choice B.

How about Broadway? What have you loved?
I’m not really a big Broadway guy, although I did go and see Avenue Q and loved it. Muppets = Perfection.

What do you think of American Idol?
Don’t watch it. I did watch the first season and still want Kelly Clarkson to marry me… still waiting.

Do you prefer fiction or nonfiction? What was the last book you read?
I like to read fiction books, but the book I am currently on is The Glass Castle (of course it’s non-fiction). I heard that it was a great book and so far I will have to agree.

Who is your mortal enemy?
Don’t have one…

When's the last vacation you took? Where did you go?
My last vacation I took was with one of my buddies to Washington, D.C. I had only been there once before, so it was really cool to go back and visit all of the great places in DC.

Do you Facebook? What do you like about it?
I do use Facebook. I enjoy using it to connect and stay in touch with my friends. It really is a great social tool. I now have one for all band directors so that they can stay in touch with me and I can help keep them up to date on all of the great things going on with USSBA.

Do you Twitter?
Nope. I’m good.

Where do you go to be alone?
I enjoy going for a drive and playing music when I want to have some alone time. Yes I admit it! I do sing in the car. Sorry. 

And finally … If you could meet one person … Dead or living … Who would it be?
My answer usually changes… I would have to go with Charlie Chaplin. He just seems like such an interesting person to meet with. I feel like he would be a lot of fun. Nothing is better than good laugh!


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