By Lisa R. RhodesOctober 13, 2011
FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md., Oct. 13, 2011 -- The gold and black Emmy statue arrived in July in a black box.
Ever since then, Staff Sgt. Jared Morgan's supervisor and several of his colleagues at the U.S. Army Field Band have been quite impressed. But he remains humble.
"I never really told anybody," said Morgan, 31, the organization's media producer. "Everybody here is very educated and established in their own right. [The Emmy] helps me blend in."
The 32nd Annual Sports Emmy Awards was presented May 2 in New York City. Morgan was among the more than 150 nominees in 33 categories, including outstanding live sports special, live series, sports documentary, studio show, promotional announcements, play-by-play personality and studio analyst.
Morgan, who did not attend the awards presentation, won in the "Outstanding Studio Show Daily" category for his work as a highlight producer for the Major League Baseball Network, a cable television network based in Secaucus, N.J.
Morgan was one of several highlight producers recognized for their contributions to a season of "MLB Tonight," a daily sports show that features one-minute recaps of baseball events.
"I'm extremely impressed and glad that we hired him," said Master Sgt. Scott Vincent, the Army Field Band's production manager and Morgan's supervisor. "It has really enhanced our public image to have someone with such in-depth industry knowledge."
Morgan worked at the MLB Network for about a year before joining the Army Field Band last October. He found out about his win in June when he visited the Facebook pages of several of his former MLB Network colleagues who were sharing congratulatory notes. A colleague sent Morgan the list of winners and he saw his name.
"It is cool. I sent the list to my mother," Morgan said. "[The Emmy statue is] a nice thing to have in my office. It's great to have it."
Other Army Field Band members have also participated in a project that has received a significant award.
In 2006, Sgt. 1st Class Brian Sacawa and Staff Sgt. Christopher Blossom, both saxophonists, were musicians with the University of Symphony Orchestra, which performed "Songs of Innocence and Experience." The piece won a Grammy for best classical recording. Staff Sgt. Brian Eldridge served as personal manager for the orchestra.
As the Army Field Band's media producer, Morgan is responsible for creating the organization's visual content for the Internet, as well as music videos, DVDs and short television promos. He also films many of the Army Field Band's live concerts.
Morgan joined the New Jersey Army National Guard in 1997 during his junior year at Vernon Township High School in Vernon, N.J. He was then assigned to the New Jersey Army National Guard's 63rd Army Band where he played the French horn.
Morgan graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in broadcasting from Montclair State University in New Jersey and landed a job as a television editor at CBS Sports the following year. After being laid off from CBS in 2008, Morgan joined the U.S. Army Soldier Show as an audio technician in February 2009 before being hired at the MLB Network at the end of the year. He joined the Army Field Band in October 2010.
Vincent said that with Morgan's expertise in broadcast media, the Army Field Band is "branching out into a whole new realm and reaching a whole new demographic" -- particularly young music enthusiasts.
In preparation for the holiday season, Morgan just completed shooting an Army Field Band Christmas music video that will be broadcast on the Pentagon Channel.
Morgan also hopes to bring new audiences to the U.S. Army Soldier Show through "Major Rock Star," a one-hour documentary he made through his independent company, Pantless Productions, LLC. While serving with the show two years ago, Morgan filmed from the audition process to the show's worldwide tour.
"It's a great story," Morgan said, noting that he started the project because of his passion for music.
He is in the process of raising $15,000 to cover the cost of licensing the music in the film.
Morgan said that while his is grateful for his Emmy, prestige and recognition are not the things that drive him.
"I'm more interested in making better television and what I'm going to do next," he said.