Alumnus is Nationally Recognized Musician

Brevard College students walking past bell tower

Stefen “Christian” Hinkle ‘89, is a retired United States Army Musician who has performed nationally and internationally. He studied music at Brevard College and went on to the University of North Carolina Greensboro before enlisting in the Army to join the Premiere Band. A native of Mount Airy, NC, Christian has toured throughout the United States and abroad, including Australia, Norway, Panama and Cuba. 

With over 20 years experience as a musician, Christian currently plays the trumpet in the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own.” He was one of five brass instrumentalists performing at the Capitol Rotunda during the viewing of George Bush Sr. and has played Taps at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during military funerals in Arlington National Cemetery. He has performed in Cuba for the raising of the American flag at the United States Embassy to end the Embargo Act, an event that drew an audience of billions viewing live worldwide and in Panama for the opening of the third lock of the Panama Canal. He has participated in two international military tattoos (military musical performances) in Australia and Norway. He said, “My most noble contributions are playing ‘Taps’ at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier or for any United States President.” 

After college, Christian performed in the Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Asheville symphonies. He has also played in musical events with Mannheim Steamroller, Rush, Allison Krause, Artetha Franklin, Vince Gil, Roger Daugherty, and the National Symphony with James Galway. In order to reach his goal to play in the Premiere Band, he auditioned for the United States Army and went through basic training before he was able to begin performing. Though he didn’t set out to study music to play for the Army, it has given him the opportunity to travel and perform all around the world. 

Similarly, Brevard College gave him the opportunity to begin his music education and launch an exciting, lifelong career doing what he loves. Christian said, “I didn’t have the best scores in high school and wasn’t prepared for college. Brevard College gave me a chance to succeed. I’m very grateful.”