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GRCC music student furthers music education by playing for the 126 Army Band

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By Jacquelyn Zeman

126 Army Band playing at Grand Haven
Spc. Bryce Lynn on guitar, Staff Sgt. Christopher Schmidt on drums and Hope graduate Sgt. Luke Panning on fiddle in Grand Haven.

As a Grand Rapids Community College student, the last reason why 25-year-old Bryce Lynn of Grand Rapids joined the military was to fight in the army. He joined so he could play guitar for the 126 Army Band. Lynn is currently a guitar performance major at GRCC. He is also a member of the Michigan National Guard, and the guitarist of the 126 Army Band based out of Michigan.

“I heard of this army band that traveled all over the world and played for people everywhere, and I decided that I just had to be a part of that,” Lynn said. “After a very long and difficult audition process that goes into getting into the group, I became a member of the 126 Army Band.”

His grandmother was the first person who bought him a secondhand guitar at the age of 12. From there, his love of music just grew, and he has now been playing the guitar very intensely for the last 10 years. Lynn’s grandfather was a musician as well, and Lynn would listen to rock music, and recalls wanting “to make the noises that he heard on the radio.”

Lynn has been in the National Guard for six years. He joined right out of high school, his inspiration being both of his parents who worked in different sections of the military throughout their lives. His mother worked in logistics and administration for the U.S. Army, and his father was a gunman who fought from a helicopter in Bosnia.

In order to be in the army band, he had to go through basic training before he could officially become a member of the band. Lynn went to Ft. Benning, Georgia in 2007. There he completed the basic requirements for the training for the army, such as learning how to shoot and crawl. After that he attended the Army School of Music in Northfolk, Va.

Lynn feels like his real calling is in composition. He would like to work with film scoring someday, or do commercial jingles. He said his “only other musical passion besides guitar is writing music.”

His band did a big tour in Detroit for two weeks, and they toured the Upper Peninsula for two weeks this last summer. This next summer there is a possibility of them traveling out of the country to play with other army bands around the world.

When he graduated from the school of music, he came back to Grand Rapids. To further his passion with music, he decided to pursue an actual music degree. Lynn said he wanted to “surround himself with music everyday of his life,” so that is why he has chosen to further his education in music.