Ep. 15: Veterans Day Tribute + Role of Music in the Military: with Jari Villanueva, Taps Historian, USAF

November 5, 2019

We honor our veterans with a look at the role music plays in our military. Guest Jari Villanueva also gives a behind-the-scenes look at the call of Taps, a way of thanking the military for their service and for a job well done. Veterans Day is November 11.


Joining us from Maryland is Jari Villanueva, who spent 23 years with The USAF Band in Washington DC. He retired from the Air Force at the rank of Master Sergeant. He is considered the country’s foremost expert on military bugle calls, particularly the call of Taps which is sounded at military funerals. In 2007, he was inducted into the Buglers Hall of Fame, the first active duty military bugler to receive this honor.


Jari recommends playing (on bugle or trumpet) or singing Taps:

Day Is Done
Gone The Sun
From The Lake
From The Hills
From The Sky
All is Well
Safely Rest
God is Nigh    


 Additional Resources

  • Taps For Veterans provides live Taps players for military funerals. Contact them if you are in need of a bugler. If you are a bugle OR trumpet player, contact them to volunteer (there is a shortage of players).
  • Kennedy Center Arts Edge website with video/info on music in the military
  • Military OneSource: source of all info military; partnering with Jari on military music content
  • 100 Nights of Taps Gettysburg 2019 Facebook page and website


The call of Taps is a way of thanking the military for their service and for a job well done.  Listen to Jari’s arrangement (for 7 trumpets) of Taps:

Listener Improv

Will left this comment on the website: “Hi Mindy, we use music in our house as a form of calming and connecting with our children. Just last night one of our ‘strong willed’ and highly energetic children were struggling with obedience and cooperating. I turned on Toby Mac (our favorite artist) and told her to meet me on the couch. Before I suggested she meet me over music she was adamant she was going to see her mom. After the suggestion, she joined me on the couch, we turned on the music, she calmed down and relaxed, and we had a great conversation. We also have regular “jam sessions” on the way to school and at home where we sing and dance together. She does not appear to be musically gifted but it’s a place where we connect and I love that.” Thanks so much for sharing that, Will — We are big fans of TobyMac, too! Thanks for pointing out that the benefits of music are not only for the musically gifted. A quote I love is “Use what talent you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.” (Henry van Dyke) Please let me know, like Will, a practical way you music enhances YOUR life. Leave a comment below, comment on social media (I’m on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn), or in an email (mindy@mpetersonmusic.com). If you enjoy the show and have not yet subscribed, please do yourself and the show a favor by hitting the subscribe button on whatever podcast app you use. This automatically delivers each new episode to your device, so it is ready to go whenever/wherever you are ready to listen, whether that is on your commute, shuttling kids around, working out. When you subscribe, this also helps the show and helps others find the show, since new subscribers are very important in the Apple Podcasts algorithm. Another important factor in the algorithm that helps others discover the show is ratings: please help the show and advocate for music by rating this podcast in your app. To do this, you need to do a search for the podcast — even if you’re already subscribed (thank you if you are). Click on this podcast and scroll down until you get to Ratings & Reviews. This is where you tap 5 stars (hopefully!) to rate and you can also write a review for an even bigger music advocacy boost!

6 responses to “Ep. 15: Veterans Day Tribute + Role of Music in the Military: with Jari Villanueva, Taps Historian, USAF”

  1. Im a junior in high school also being a scout for almost 7 years now. Very interesting all the information about bugling. Because at every scout camp I have been to. They play revelry in the morning and then taps at night. Are troop owns a bugle and when a scout gets the position of bugler they take the bugle for 3 months and teach themselves how to play it. Usually they play the French horn or the Trumpet. It was interesting to learn more about Taps. Looking forward to knew episodes!

    • Thanks so much for commenting, Gabriel. I had no idea that Taps was played at scout camps — very cool and fascinating! It would be interesting to hear the story of how Taps came to be played at scout camps, and how long that tradition has been going on. Thanks for listening!