FORT BENNING, GA – If you stop by Martin Army Community Hospital on most Tuesdays, chances are you’ve been treated to the musical stylings of Cpl. Matt Twaddle. The Maneuver Center of Excellence Band member started volunteering to play the grand piano on BMACH’s second floor landing about a year ago.
“Fort Benning is my first and only duty station,” said Twaddle. “I have enjoyed my time here thus far.”
The Baltimore-born musician pcs’d to the Peach State in April of last year, after completing Basic Training and AIT (Army School of Music).
“When I completed my audition for band, I was given two choices of duty station: Fort Riley and Fort Benning,” said Twaddle. “I chose Benning for its location close to many hotspot locations in the South.”
Having grown up in Pennsylvania and graduating from both high school and college in Massachusetts, enlisting and the subsequent move to the Deep South was a change in tune to say the least. But he has learned to play it by ear.
“I joined the Army so that I could land a stable job as a musician directly out of college,” said Twaddle. “It was definitely a culture shock at first. I have learned to be resilient and adjust as I go.”
Twaddle began tickling the ivories at the tender age of four. Although piano is his first love, not to toot his own horn, the virtuoso also plays guitar, bass, French horn and percussion/drums. His taste in music is just as diverse and eclectic.
“I would say I naturally gravitate toward jazz, R&B and rock n’ roll … but I listen to soul, blues, classical, metal, hip hop and reggae,” said Twaddle. “My favorite song at the moment is ‘Blast Off’ from the Silk Sonic album.”
Twaddle credits both his parents for instilling his love for do-re-mi all the way to fa-so-la-ti-do.
“Music runs very deep in my family,” explained Twaddle. “My mom is a music educator, teaching private lessons as well as working as a music director at multiple churches and high schools. My dad is a musician who has worked in the audio production industry for over 30 years; both in a studio and live setting. And my grandfather on my mom’s side is also an accomplished musician.”
A European assignment next would be music to his ears, so he can take this show on the road.
“I am not eligible to PCS yet, but I would like to audition and go to the SHAPE International Band in Belgium following my time at Benning. The best part of being in the Army is seeing the difference I can make in Soldiers’ and Veterans’ lives through music.”