I am very excited to say that I’ve been asked to sound To The Post (First Call) at the 2022 Preakness at Pimlico Racetrack in Baltimore Maryland.
Adrienne Doctor and I will sound the Call To The Post for the Black Eyed Susan Stakes on Friday May 20th and then again for the 147th running of the Preakness on Saturday May 21st.
I am delighted and honored to have been asked to play for the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown Race. This will mark the first time in four decades a Baltimore native bugler will sound the call at Pimlico.
We are stepping into some big shoes at Pimlico. Buglers like Baltimore’s Ira Wright, Frank Chemay, and Larry “Reds” Popoli, Chicago’s Joe Kelly and New York’s famous Sam Grossman have sounded the call in the past but are now retired. It’s an honor for a hometown boy to be there for this great occasion and I thank all those players who set the path for me.
A bit about the 2022 Preakness Buglers
Jari Villanueva grew up less than 10 miles from the Pimlico racetrack in the northeast section of Baltimore City. A graduate of Patterson High School, he received his undergraduate degree from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, taught in Baltimore City before joining the United States Air Force Band as a ceremonial trumpeter. Jari served as an Air Force bugler at Arlington National Cemetery for 23 years and then served for 10 years as the Director of Military Funeral Honors for the State of Maryland.
Jari is the president of TAPS FOR VETERANS, a national nonprofit organization that helps provide live buglers for military funerals and the founder of TAPS ACROSS AMERICA, the annual sounding of Taps on Memorial Day. He is the bugler coordinator for 100 Nights of Taps in Gettysburg and the daily sounding of Taps at the National World War I Memorial in Washington DC. Jari is considered the national expert on bugle calls and the call of Taps which is sounded to honor our military veterans.
Jari has been the bugler at Laurel Park and has sounded Call To The Post at Timonium Racetrack for the Maryland State Fair. He has also sounded his bugle at various racetracks on the East Coast as a member of The All-Star Buglers, a bugle group started by retired Master Bugler Mark O’Keeffe.
Adrienne Doctor is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where she also finished her master’s degree in trumpet performance. An active freelance musician and teacher, she has performed with Monarch Brass, Seraph Brass, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, and the Dayton Philharmonic. She has also been a judge for military band mock auditions and competitions at various conferences to include the International Trumpet Guild, the National Trumpet Competition, and the International Women’s Brass Conference. An active clinician, she has performed at and given masterclasses at dozens of universities around the country. Adrienne is also serves in a premier band in Washington DC.
Sounding Taps is an important part of my life but sounding Call To The Post (First Call) is fun and a tradition in horse racing. Unfortunately some racetracks use a recording rather than a live bugler (I’ve yet to see a digital bugle being used-ugh) so it’s nice to have places like Timonium and Laurel Park use a live player.
What is the origin of First Call and how did it become the iconic signal at horse races?
Here is some information:https://www.tapsbugler.com/first-call-call-to-the-post/
My thanks to the Maryland Jockey Club for having us perform this year for the Preakness. I hope that the tradition of a Baltimore Bugler will continue on!