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Naval Academy Band

Musician 1st Class Tench Tillman

MU1 Tench Tilman


A native of Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, Musician 1st Class Tench Tillman’s training as a percussionist began with lessons from his father.  After graduating from Kennard-Dale High School, Tillman continued his education at York College of Pennsylvania, where he earned a Bachelor of Music Education.  He has studied drum set and percussion with Lee Ruff, Jeff Stabley, Chris Lōser, and Dr. Malavika Godbole. 

Prior to joining the Navy, Tillman served in the Army as a percussionist with the 1st Armored Division band in El Paso, Texas. During his four-year enlistment, Tillman performed in numerous ensembles, including the unit’s concert band, ceremonial band, marching band, brass band, and jazz combo. Tillman has also worked as a private percussion instructor, a technician for various high school marching band programs, and a freelance performer.

In April 2021, Tillman auditioned and was selected for assignment to the U.S. Naval Academy Band.  Following Other Service Veteran training at RTC Great Lakes, he reported for duty as percussion instrumentalist with the marching band and ceremonial units, wind ensemble, Superintendent’s Combo, and Blues & Gold.  

Tillman’s military awards include the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal and the Humanitarian Service Medal. 


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