Student, soldier, saxophonist, star
Always ready. Always there.
It’s more than just a motto for the U.S. Army National Guard. For UND senior Zachary Fischer of Horace, N.D., it’s a whole way of life.
The standout music education major and 22-year-old sergeant with the North Dakota Army National Guard’s 188th Army Band takes those four words to heart. He’s on a mission to spread a lifelong love of music to as many people as he can, and that’s not exactly light duty.
It will take skills, teamwork, leadership, camaraderie and a good dose of discipline. Luckily for him, Fischer says, that’s just what he’s learning at UND.
Up and at ’em before 7 a.m., he juggles a full load of classes with regular band rehearsals and hours of practice on multiple instruments — the saxophone is his favorite, but he also plays the piano, trombone, flute, guitar and pretty much everything else.
“It keeps me busy, but I enjoy the busy. I know that every experience I’m having at UND and in the 188th is going to help me in my career,” Fischer said. “Music really is my passion, so my time in the practice room doesn’t feel like it’s something I have to do. It’s something that I want to do.”
And that amounts to some serious dedication when you’re performing at dozens of military functions and public concerts a year — and sometimes, even two shows in one night.