Musicians Needed To Perform ‘Taps’ At Military Funerals

Hancock County Taps – Honoring Those Who Served, a new local program with the goal of ensuring a live rendition of Taps at Hancock County military funerals, is actively seeking local musicians to help honor local Veterans.

The program represents a collaboration between the Hancock Leadership Class of ’23, the Hancock County Veteran Services Office, and Hancock County Taps founder Carl Hayslett.

 The sounding of Taps at ceremonies is the most sacred duty a bugler can perform. Every effort should be made to sound a perfect Taps in keeping with the solemn occasion of a military ceremony or funeral.

Any standard trumpet, cornet, or bugle may be used to sound Taps for military funeral honors or memorial service.

According to Hayslett, who is a 2021 graduate of the Hancock Leadership program and also serves as Hancock County Magistrate, “there is a shortage of live buglers to meet a growing need. Musicians who can deliver a high-quality performance of Taps on a bugle or trumpet are able to thank our Veterans for their service and honor their passing.”

As a result, the Hancock Leadership Class of ’23 is developing a system to audition local musicians and build a robust registry of live buglers to be paired at funerals and memorial services of local Veterans. Hayslett identified high school or college band members, buglers, and trumpeters as being a natural fit to Hancock County Taps. Interested individuals will be required to audition and agree to a code of conduct that outlines how to accept volunteer assignments, appropriate dress, and best practices.

The Hancock County Veterans Memorial Squad provides Taps at all military funerals using a ceremonial bugle with pre-recorded Taps for an average of 100 funerals a year, according to Doug McKinniss, HL ’92 graduate and Memorial Squad Treasurer. 

“With the Hancock Taps program the family will be able to request a live bugler and the Hancock County Memorial Squad will still provide final military burial rites.”

People interested in auditioning to join the Hancock County Taps registry should send an email to [email protected]

The public can support Hancock County Taps in 3 ways; GIVE – consider making a monetary donation towards the project, PLAY – audition to join the pool of musicians to play Taps at funerals in Hancock County, or HONOR – request a live rendition of Taps for your Hancock County Veteran’s funeral service.