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Rhythm Section

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Sergeant Major Scott Drewes

Sergeant Major Scott Drewes is the drummer and musical director for the Benny Havens Band. Before joining the military in 2001, he attended both the University of Maryland and the Manhattan School of Music. He then enlisted in the Air Force for six years before switching over to the Army to join the band at West Point.

Since joining the band in 2007, Sergeant Major Drewes has enjoyed entertaining audiences around the nation, including heads of state, Wounded Warriors, veterans, and the Corps of Cadets at West Point. He is one of the co-producers of the Benny Havens Band recording, "Songs That Save Our Lives." As leader of the Benny Havens Band, Sergeant Major Drewes coordinates with tour managers, publicity, and the production team to keep everything running smoothly. When not at work, he likes to take advantage of the Hudson Valley by hiking, biking, and hanging out with his daughter.

Master Sergeant Dan Pierce

Master Sergeant Dan Pierce is the bassist with the Benny Havens Band. A love of many styles of music, and a freelance career ranging from salsa to symphony orchestras to jazz big bands, prepared him for life as an Army musician. Before enlisting, he earned music degrees in performance and jazz studies from the Eastman School of Music and DePaul University.

Since joining the Army, he has helped to shape the West Point Band's messaging on stage and in the media, booked performances for the band, designed halftime shows for Army West Point football games, and assisted with musical preparation for various ensembles. Master Sergeant Pierce's son keeps him busy and entertained outside of work, his amazing wife keeps him organized, and his dog Max gets them all to the rail trail for long walks whenever possible.

Master Sergeant Rich Johnson

Master Sergeant Rich Johnson is the Benny Havens Band multi-instrumentalist, covering everything from banjo, pedal steel, keys, and sequencing. Before joining the Army, he graduated from the Manhattan School of Music and freelanced in NYC. Playing for pit orchestras, commercial jingles, studios and clubs in the big city gave him a wide variety of musical experiences to draw from when he came to the Army.

A member of the West Point Band since 2003, Master Sergeant Johnson is proud to help carry on the great tradition of Army Bands entertaining and inspiring troops, veterans, and the American public. After he's completed his daily duties, you can usually find him working on an old motorcycle or taking his daughter fishing in the Hudson Valley.

Sergeant First Class Brandon Nelson

Sergeant First Class Brandon Nelson is the Benny Havens Band rhythm guitarist. Originally trained as a bassist at the University of North Texas, he played electric and upright in orchestras, jazz, and rock bands before joining the military.

Sergeant First Class Nelson has covered every style of music during his time in the Army. A native Texan, his love of country music put him in a position to be musical director and co-producer for the Benny Havens Band's Nashville recording, "Songs That Save Our Lives."

Sergeant First Class Jongyoon Lee

Sergeant First Class Jongyoon Lee is the lead guitarist of the Benny Havens Band. He joined the Army Reserves in his senior year of high school. Before switching to Active Duty in 2010, he spent time in South Korea recording and performing with various groups.

Sergeant First Class Lee joined the West Point Band in 2015 after serving at Fort Hood, Texas. He enjoys the opportunity to perform for the cadets of West Point, who are the future leaders of the Army. Outside of performing, he works in the supply section where he receives shipments and maintains the inventory. When he's not at work, he likes traveling to new places and sampling the cuisine.

Staff Sergeant Bryan Ponton

Staff Sergeant Bryan Ponton plays keyboards in the Benny Havens Band. He grew up in Frederick, Maryland before moving to New Jersey to study jazz at William Paterson University. While studying with some of New York City's greatest musicians he also spent time freelancing in jazz and rock bands.

Staff Sergeant Ponton began his Army career at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in 2013 as a member of the Army Ground Forces Band. In August 2015 he arrived at West Point to take over keys for the Benny Havens Band. Supporting Army Football and a featured spot on Fox's West Point Holiday Special have been highlights in his time with the band so far. When he's not performing his duties in the Benny Havens Band, Staff Sergeant Ponton enjoys hiking and exploring new trails around West Point.

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