Princeton Native Plays at Bush Funeral
By West Kentucky Star Staff
KENTUCKY - Two Kentuckians who are members of "The President's Own" U.S. Marine Band participated in President George H. W. Bush's state funeral Wednesday at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

Princeton native Master Sgt. Hilary Harding plays French horn in the Marine Band, and Louisville native Gunnery Sgt. Heather Zenobia is a flutist.

Harding joined the band in May 2003 and was appointed assistant principal horn in October 2012 and principal in May 2018. She began her musical training at age 11 and graduated in 1996 from Caldwell County High School. She then attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where in 2000 she earned a bachelor's degree in music. In 2002, she earned a master's degree in music from the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and in 2007 she earned a doctorate of musical arts at the University of Maryland, College Park. 

Zenobia of Louisville joined the band in September 2006. She began her musical instruction on piano at age 6 and flute at age 9. After graduating in 1997 from Youth Performing Arts School in Louisville, she earned her bachelor's degree in music from Cleveland Institute of Music in 2001. She earned her master's degree in flute performance in 2006 from New England Conservatory in Boston. 

Wednesday's funeral marks the 14th such event for which the U.S. Marine Band or Marine Chamber Orchestra has performed. They were involved in the State Funerals of former Presidents Gerald Ford in 2007, Ronald Reagan in 2004, Lyndon B. Johnson in 1973, Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1969, Herbert Hoover in 1964, John F. Kennedy in 1963, Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945, William Howard Taft in 1930, William McKinley in 1901, Ulysses S. Grant in 1885, James Garfield in 1881, Abraham Lincoln in 1865, Zachary Taylor in 1850, and John Quincy Adams in 1848.

"We have been fortunate to have had wonderful moments with every President we serve, but President and Mrs. Bush's gratitude for our Marines and for the special music we provide in The People's House was especially warm and always engaging," said Music Adviser to the White House and Marine Band Director Col. Jason K. Fettig. "He never missed an opportunity to connect with those around him and thank them for their contributions, and the men and women in the band who got to know President Bush both during his administration and in the many years beyond will always remember his ever-present appreciation and admiration for all those who served our nation alongside him."

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact the Marine Band Office of Communication at (202) 433-5813 or visit 

Published 08:51 PM, Wednesday Dec. 05, 2018
Updated 11:23 AM, Thursday Dec. 06, 2018

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