David Lawrence Pohl, 51, retired master sergeant, clarinet section leader and assistant concertmaster of the U.S. Army Band, died of heart disease April 17 at his home in Arlington County.
Sgt. Pohl was born in Lee Center, N.Y., and was raised on a dairy farm in Upstate New York. He attended Ithaca College and studied in Europe under the principal clarinetist of the Berlin Philharmonic, Karl Leister. He then moved to the Washington area to join the Army Band, also known as "Pershing's Own," in 1973.
During his career, he served as one of the principal organizers of the 1992 Inaugural Parade, representing the armed forces, and received the Joint Service Commendation Medal for his efforts. He performed for five U.S. presidents, the Queen of England and Pope Paul VI, among dozens of other world leaders. He performed in Japan, the Netherlands and Australia and played a solo with the British Coldstream Guards Band in 1990.
He also played with the band at the national Bicentennial Celebration, for the return of the U.S. hostages from Iran and at the World's Fair in Knoxville, Tenn. He received numerous awards and medals during his 21-year Army career and traveled throughout the world playing in concerts and military tattoos.
After retiring from the military in 1994, Sgt. Pohl served as a clarinetist and administrator for a number of local organizations. He was personnel manager for the Arlington Symphony and the Washington Symphony and was a contractor for the Vienna Choral Society.
For the last several years, Sgt. Pohl was a mortgage loan officer for USA Financial in Fairfax County.
A member of the Professional Bowlers Association and numerous Virginia leagues, Sgt. Pohl once bowled 299 in official league play.
He was a fan of the New York Yankees and the Washington Redskins. He also served as captain of the Army Band bowling and softball teams. He was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery in an area reserved for career members of the Army Band. A clarinet choir and full military band played at his funeral, and he was given a 21-volley salute.
Survivors include his wife of 28 years, Gene Semiatin Pohl, and his daughter, Sarah Pohl, both of Arlington; his son, Adam Pohl of Chapel Hill, N.C.; his mother, Berneice Pohl of Lee Center; four sisters; and one brother.