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Trumpet Studio’s Talons for Taps offers moving final tribute to veterans

Published March 12, 2019

A dedicated group of University of Louisiana Monroe musicians have stepped forward to recognize the service and honor the sacrifices of United States Armed Forces veterans by performing "Taps" at funeral and memorial services.

William Joiner of ULM's Talons for Taps

"Taps" is a haunting 24-note salute played by a lone bugler or trumpeter at military funerals. 
Talons for Taps was developed and is led by Dr. Eric Siereveld, Assistant Professor of Trumpet in the ULM School of Visual and Performing Arts.
“Talons for Taps was formed to provide the ULM Trumpet Studio an opportunity to give back to the community that serves us,” Siereveld said. “Signaling ‘Taps’ is a brief, but moving tribute to our fallen and passed service men and women. As strange as this may seem, many service members are not given a live bugler for their memorial service or funeral. There simply are not enough military buglers available to provide ‘Taps’ live. This is where Talons for Taps comes in. We are honored and humbled to provide live ‘Taps’ for those in our community who’ve served.”
Members of the ULM Trumpet Studio who provide this service along with Siereveld are, Kody Jernigan of Longview, Texas, William Joiner of West Monroe, Kris Balint of Longview, Sabrina Mata of Jena, Ian Lee of Columbia, Hawk Walker of Monroe, Solomon Abang of Lagos, Nigeria, Austin Pasche of Pollock, Vincent Capuano of Bossier City, and Ryan Blomquist of Pineville.
Talons for Taps performances are free, however honorariums are accepted.
“We use those gifts to cover both travel costs and to provide the students contact with clinicians and military servicemen and women who provide insight to this simple, but important service,” Siereveld said.
Siereveld said Talons for Taps prefers to stay in a 30- to 40-minute travel radius, “However, since we understand the importance of this service, we will consider any and all requests for a Talons for Taps service. We may not always to be able to provide the service, but we attempt to fulfill all of our service members families in need.”
The easiest way to get in touch with Talons for Taps is through the website https://www.ulm.edu/music/talons-for-taps.html or by emailing Dr. Siereveld at siereveld@ulm.edu. A Talons for Taps request form is on the website.
Since forming in September 2018, Talons for Taps has performed at four funeral/memorial services and three Veterans Day events.

For more on the origin of "Taps," visit www.va.gov.