Dave Harler is getting ready for his thirteenth season as principal trumpet with the Gulf Coast Symphony. Just prior to moving to Florida and joining the Symphony, he played with groups in the Northern Virginia area outside of Washington, D.C. These included the National Concert Band of America, the Alexandria Virginia Band, the Falls Church Virginia Band, and the Veterans Administration Orchestra, which performed in various venues around Washington, D.C., including the U.S. Capitol.
His beginning was an eight-year-old who was given a trumpet by his uncle. What a gift, as it became the most important part of his life for many years. The horn led him through middle and high school, including three years in the Virginia All-State Band. It allowed him the chance to visit other areas of the country through the high school band exchange system. In 1964, he was selected to join the Fred Waring Summer Music Camp in Pennsylvania. It presented him the opportunity to join the Army Band System in Fort Meade, Maryland at the height of the Vietnam War, where, as well as playing trumpet in the Concert Band, he was honored to play the final call of Taps for some two hundred fallen heroes of the war. After military service, he had to make a living, so he joined a rock band working out of Atlanta, GA. At the age of 27, life got in the way, and he retired from playing for some 26 years. As middle life settled, and time was again available, he returned to his first love, picked up the horn in 2000, started over again, took lessons, got involved, and the road continues.
His teachers and inspirational counselors include his high school band director, Everett C. Buskirk and Musician and Educator, Fred Waring. His teachers include Larry Tichenor, U.S. Marine Band, and Chuck Seipp, solo trumpet with the U.S. Army Band for 30+ years.