Page 1

November/December 2013 w Volume 34 Number 6

Navy Yard Shooting Spotlight on MUC Rachel Sarracco Holiday Concert Concert Band and Sea Chanters Tours

A Message from the Commanding Officer


fanfare Volume 34 Number 6

Commanding Officer/Leader CAPT Brian O. Walden

Public Affairs Chief MUCM Aaron L. Porter Editorial Staff MUCM Aaron L. Porter MUCS Juan Vazquez MUC Cynthia K. Wolverton MUC Adam K. Grimm Layout and Design MUC Stephen W. Hassay MU1 Adrienne W. Moore

Photographers MUC Stephen W. Hassay MUC Brian P. Bowman MU1 James C. Anderson MU1 David B. Aspinwall MU1 Eric A. Brown MU1 Jeremy D. Buckler MU1 Adele D. Mayne

fanfare is a bi-monthly magazine published by the U.S. Navy Band public affairs staff.

he Navy Yard suffered a terrible tragedy on Sept. 16 with the shooting at Building 197, headquarters for Naval Sea Systems Command. This building is located just down the street from the Navy Band, and a number of band members were on the Yard when the base lockdown occurred. Some of their stories of this terrible day are told in this issue. In true Navy Band tradition, our enlisted leaders rose to the occasion, keeping everyone informed and making sure they were safe and accounted for. I’m truly grateful for their level-headed thinking and superb leadership. On Sept. 22, at a memorial service to the victims of the shooting, I had the honor to conduct the Concert Band and Sea Chanters. The band performed one of its most solemn and important duties at this service, providing solace and comfort to the families and colleagues of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country. Music truly has the power to calm and console during our most trying times, and the band set the tone perfectly for this service with respect and dignity. As I write this, the federal government shutdown has just ended, which means we can get back to full operational status. The shutdown had a significant impact on our operations, as you can imagine. Because we had no money to spend on public outreach activities, we had to cancel a number of concerts, and the Navy birthday concert scheduled for Oct. 9 at the beautiful Music Center at Strathmore was the most disappointing cancellation of all. A lot of work went into it, from our productions and arranging staff, to all the rehearsals in the sail loft by the Concert Band, Country Current, Sea Chanters and Cruisers. As always, the hard-working professionals of this great organization made me proud to be their commanding officer. There are a couple of good news items, however. One is that our holiday concert will be performed at DAR Constitution Hall on Dec. 21 and 22, and the other is that the Concert Band and Sea Chanters will go on tour in the spring to the southwest. For more details, please see the article in this issue about the holiday concert and a preliminary list of tour dates and states on the schedule page. In closing, please rest assured that we remain dedicated to our tradition of entertaining audiences and supporting our great Navy with music from the “World’s Finest.”

Brian O. Walden, Captain, USN Commanding Officer/Leader

Front Cover: WASHINGTON (Sept. 21, 2013) Members assigned to Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) raise a U.S. flag during a flag-raising ceremony in honor of the victims of the Washington Navy Yard shooting. 12 flags were flown and presented to the family members of the victims. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Pedro A. Rodriguez/Released)

Concert Band


It was my great pleasure to attend your performance this evening at the Bowie Center for the Performing Arts. I have thoroughly enjoyed your music on many occasions, both here and at other venues around the DC area. With hearts that I am sure were heavy due to the terrible events on Monday, you honored your commitment to perform and lightened our hearts. KUDOS to one and all! Ilene – Bowie, Md.

WASHINGTON (Sept. 22, 2013) President Barack Obama speaks at a memorial ceremony at the Marine Barracks for the victims of the Washington Navy Yard shooting. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Musician Stephen Hassay/Released)

Tragedy at the Navy Yard by Chief Musician Adam Grimm


t 8:35 a.m. on Sept. 16, a text message was sent to all Navy Yard employees ordering personnel to shelter in place. It was only moments later that reports came in of an active shooter somewhere on base. Twelve Navy civilians were killed and three were injured that day when a Navy contractor walked into Building 197, the headquarters for Naval Sea Systems Command, and opened fire. Once the shelter in place order was given, Navy Band leaders in the band building quickly moved to make sure everyone one was safe and accounted for. Others in the band found themselves in quite different situations. Lt. j.g. Greg Fritz, Senior Chief Musician Mike Bayes and Chief Musician Courtney Williams were at Leutze Park, the parade field at the Navy Yard, at a rehearsal with the Navy and Marine Corps ceremonial guards for an upcoming ceremony. When the news spread about an active shooter, they and other leaders moved into action. First, they needed a space to hold dozens of Sailors and Marines. Once a place was identified,

WASHINGTON (Sept. 17, 2013) Chief Musician Eric Lopez plays taps after Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey lay a wreath at the Navy Memorial in Washington D.C. The defense leaders held the ceremony to honor the 12 victims of a shooting Sept. 16, 2013 at the Washington Navy Yard. (U.S. Navy photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo/Released)

they helped move the Sailors and Marines to shelter, while police quick response teams maneuvered their way to Building 197. They spent most of the rest of the day, along with Chief Musician Christina Bayes, in Building 200 assisting evacuees from 197. Other members of the band were sheltered at the visitors center (and ID lab) and the branch medical clinic. By late afternoon, Continued on page 5

Brass Quintet

The Quintet performed at my church, Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist, last Sunday and gave us a really nice concert. They not only play wonderfully but also speak well, describing the music; people really appreciate that. Carol – Alexandria, Va.


Performance Schedule All concerts are FREE and open to the public. Tickets or reservations are not required unless noted (*). Please note that all concert information is accurate at time of publication, though subject to change due to weather and other conditions. For inclement weather announcements, please call 202-433-2525 or visit For the most up-to-date information, please check our online performance calendar at:


Concert Band

Friday, Nov. 15, 7 p.m.

Stonewall Jackson High School 8820 Rixlew Lane Manassas, Va.

Sea Chanters

Friday, Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m. Stonewall Middle School 10100 Lomond Drive Manassas, Va.

Sunday, Nov. 24, 2 p.m. Shenandoah University 702 University Drive Winchester, Va.

Tuesday, Nov. 26, 6 p.m. Millennium Stage The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Washington, D.C.

Country Current

Saturday, Nov. 9, 7 p.m. Herndon United Methodist Church 701 Bennett St. Herndon, Va. Saturday, Nov. 23, 7:30 p.m. College of Southern Maryland 8730 Mitchell Road La Plata, Md.

Navy Band Holiday Concerts featuring the Sea Chanters, Commodores and Country Current

Saturday, Dec. 21 Sunday, Dec. 22 and 7:30 p.m. 3 p.m. DAR Constitution Hall 1776 D St. NW Washington, D.C. Even though all tickets have been distributed for this year’s concert, you can still show up 15 minutes before show time to claim any unclaimed seats.

Skipjack Trio

Sunday, Nov. 3, 3 p.m.

Aspen Institute Wye River 2010 Carmichael Road Queenstown, Md.


Concert Band

Friday, Dec. 6, 7:30 p.m. River Hill High School 12101 Clarksville Pike Clarksville, Md.

Sea Chanters

Wednesday, Dec. 4, noon

Old Presbyterian Meeting House 323 S. Fairfax St. Alexandria, Va.


Sunday, Dec. 8, 6:30 p.m. National Gallery at the Smithsonian Washington, D.C.

If you are interested in unsubscribing from the print version of fanfare and receiving the electronic version, please email us at

Navy Band’s public affairs staff attempts to have each issue of fanfare in your mailbox by the first of the month. This issue was delayed by the recent government shutdown, because we had no budget for printing. In the future, we will do everything in our power to deliver each issue on time, and we ask for your understanding and patience given the current fiscal uncertainty. We appreciate your support, and apologize for any inconvenience.

Sea Chanters


WOW! WOW! WOW! We were so privileged to be in attendance of the Commemorative Service at the Flight 93 Memorial on September 11, 2013! The Sea Chanters absolutely stunned us with their beautiful voices raised in tribute to the heroes of Flight 93! We spoke to several of them after their performance, but want to thank them again for being able to enhance the service with their musical talents before and during the service. Dave and Diana – Shanksville, Pa.

National Tours

Next year the Concert Band and Sea Chanters are touring the Southwestern United States. The Concert Band will be performing in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Lousiana, Texas and Arkansas starting Feb. 5.

PUYALLUP, WASH. (Feb. 12, 2013) Navy Band principal saxophonist, Musician 1st Class Jonathan Yanik, meets with local students on the 2013 Concert Band tour. (U.S. Navy photo by Musician 1st Class Adele Mayne/Released)

The Sea Chanters will be touring beginning March 9 in New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and Virginia. Check our website at www.navyband. for more information.

HIGHLANDS RANCH, COLO. (Mar. 5, 2013) The Sea Chanters “Sideboys” perform their Jersey Boys medley during the 2013 Sea Chanters tour. (U.S. Navy photo by Musician 1st Class Casey Elliott/Released)

Tragedy at the Navy Yard (continued from page 3) all members of the band had been escorted off base and transported by bus to Nationals Park, where they could get rides or take the Metro. Many had left behind wallets, phones, keys and covers in the office spaces. On Tuesday, Sept. 17, Chief Musician Eric Lopez sounded taps at the U.S. Navy Memorial while Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey laid a wreath at the Lone Sailor statue in honor of the victims. Joining them were Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert. On Sunday, Sept. 22, the Concert Band and Sea Chanters performed during a memorial service at the Marine Barracks. Among the speakers were President Barack Obama, Hagel, Mabus, Greenert, NAVSEA Commander Vice Adm. Bill French and D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray. The Navy has established an Emergency Family Assistance Center at the Navy Yard, in addition to one at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, to provide a consolidated staging area where families and individuals can obtain disaster relief assistance and/ or support, current information from leadership and contingency services. They integrate services

addressing the needs families and individuals affected by the incident. Additionally, Special Psychiatric Rapid Intervention Teams have been going to different buildings at the Navy Yard, providing shortterm mental health and emotional support. ff

WASHINGTON (Sept. 16, 2013) Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus speaks with Washington Navy Yard personnel at a gathering point at Nationals Park. The Washington Navy Yard was evacuated after a shooting Monday, Sept. 16, 2013. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

Concert Band

Heard [Musician 1st Class Jonathan Yanik] perform Dreams in the Dusk with the @usnavyband. What an incredible player! #WishIWasThatTalented #SoEnvious #Practice @tommyZEB – Twitter


WASHINGTON (Dec. 16, 2013) Captain Brian O. Walden, Commanding Officer/Leader, U.S. Navy Band, and Santa Claus, lead the audience in a sing-a-long during the 2012 Holiday Concert at DAR Constitution Hall. (U.S. Navy photo by Master Chief Musician Aaron Porter/Released)

Happy Holidays!

Capt. Walden and the Navy Band invite you to ring in the season at our annual holiday concert on Saturday, Dec. 21, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 22 at 3 p.m. Both performances will take place at DAR Constitution Hall, at 1776 D St. NW in Washington, D.C.

Congratulations to...

Even though all tickets have been distributed for this year’s concert you can still show up 15 minutes before show time to claim any unclaimed seats. This year’s concert combines the musical forces of the Sea Chanters, Commodores and Country Current for an entertaining family-friendly show that promises to delight all ages. We’ve heard that there will be a flyover and visit by a familiar guest as well! Please join us as we usher in everyone’s favorite season. ff

Welcome aboard to...

Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal

Welcome aboard to Musician 1st Class Kyle Huron, tubist with the Concert/ Ceremonial Band; and Musician 1st Class Shawn Purcell, guitarist with the Commodores.

MUCS Christopher Raifsnider MUC Stanley Curtis

Fair winds and following seas to...

Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal MU1 Robert Behrend

Senior Chief Musician Dave Morse, audio/visual technician, who is retiring after 26 years on active duty.

Chief Musician Gary Malvaso, guitarist with the Commodores, who is retiring after 24 years on active duty.

Navy Band

Please know that the American public supports you in all you do and thanks you for your dedicated service.



Spotlight on...Chief Musician Rachel Sarracco by Senior Chief Musician Juan Vazquez

One of the Navy Band’s newest chief petty officers, Rachel Sarracco brings her talent and enthusiasm to everything she takes on. Her desire to contribute is an asset to the Sea Chanters and the command. Tell us a little about yourself. I was born and raised in Victoria, Texas. My father, a French horn player, went to the Eastman School of Music, so music was a big part of my family. I began singing in fourth grade as a member of the Victoria Children’s Community Choir. By sixth grade, I started performing in the Victoria Summer Musical Theater and performed in musicals regularly. I also performed classical music through high school in both our high school madrigal choir and concert choir. Additionally, Victoria has a Bach Festival every summer and I started singing with that organization after my freshman year in high school. So by the time I got to college, I had a strong background in both classical choral music as well as musical theater, which provided the foundation for my career in the Sea Chanters. I attended the University of Texas at Austin for both my undergraduate and graduate degrees. While there I studied with professors Darlene Wiley, Gilda Cruz-Romo and William Lewis. I chose to go to the University of Texas to work with conductor Craig Hella Johnson, the current director of Conspirare. He is currently the artistic director and conductor of the Victoria Bach Festival. The summer before my final year of undergraduate work, I auditioned and was accepted to be an apprentice singer in the Santa Fe Desert Chorale. After that summer, I auditioned and won positions as a full member of the Santa Fe Desert Chorale. I received my graduate degree in social work during the summer of 1999 from the University of Texas at Austin. In January of 1999, for my last semester of graduate school, I moved to Washington to work in Congress as my final internship requirement for my master’s degree. Following graduation, I stayed in Washington and worked for a year for the National Association for Music Education (MENC) and then

changed directions and went to RTKL, an architecture firm, working with marketing for a year. During this period, I lived in the district and sang professionally with the Washington Bach Consort, the Woodley Ensemble and the Palestrina Choir. One evening at a rehearsal I met former Sea Chanter Chief Musician Rachel Sarracco and currently the Concert Band’s narrator, Chief Musician Courtney Williams. He told me of an opening in the Sea Chanters and encouraged me to audition. I did and won the position. You were recently promoted to chief musician. Congratulations! Your thoughts? Wow! I’m so humbled to have been selected along with such an accomplished group of musicians Chief Musicians Amy Smith, Adam Grimm, Lera League and Christian Johanson. I am thankful to the leadership that helped me get to this position. It’s exciting to now help my colleagues move forward in their careers and also be in a position to take on larger responsibilities within the command. I LOVE this job and am so happy that the command’s leadership entrusted me with the duties of a chief. I’m excited that this promotion has added four years to the time I’m able to spend with my closest friends making fantastic music. What is a typical day for the Sea Chanters? Our full group rehearsals are usually from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., however the Sea Chanters have six smaller ensembles that all rehearse outside of our regular time slot. On a typical day, a small ensemble rehearses from 9 to 10 a.m. or from 12 to 1 p.m. Most of the Sea Chanters are in at least one small ensemble and some members are in two or three. We have a new one called the Quarterdeck Consort that performs primarily early music. There is an all-male group called the Sideboys that is well known for its performances of a Jersey Boys medley and our newest medley of Motown classics Continued on page 8 arranged by Musician 1st

Sea Chanters

The group numbered only 16 that day but what a wonderful sound and beautiful blending of such a variety of music. It was one of the most well attended concerts in our “Music in the Park” series this year and people are still talking about it. Even today a woman was telling me how much she enjoyed the Motown medley. Carol – Chestertown, Md.




of the navy




Spotlight continued... Class Bill Edwards. There is also an Andrews Sisters group called the Anchor Sisters and a mixed-voice jazz ensemble called the Blue Jackets. We usually have one protocol job per week which is typically after-dinner music for the chief of naval operations (CNO) or chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS). When the CNO or CJCS is hosting a dignitary from a foreign country, we will program music from the guest’s country and in their native language, tailored to that particular event and guest. Sometimes, one of our small groups will perform for these events, but many times, members will perform in varying combinations. Often, we are called upon to learn new music very quickly. Our pianist, Musician 1st Class Caroline Evans, programs these performances while Musician 1st Class Antje Farmer serves as our diction coach. Their outstanding expertise helps us create a successful event. What goals are you currently working toward? My short-term goals are to be a mentor to my shipmates and a leader who isn’t afraid to get her


Contact Information: Public Affairs Office The United States Navy Band 617 Warrington Ave. SE Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5054 202-433-3366

hands dirty. In the long-term, I’d like to find a collateral duty that I truly enjoy and through which I can assist the command. Ultimately, I want to stay in the band as long as I’m able to contribute something – I LOVE this job! What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? When I’m not working, I’m generally spending time at home with my family just hanging out. It seems like I’ve been so busy lately that I don’t have time for anything else but working and then coming home, sleeping and doing it all again the next day. My true passion/hobby is knitting. I love knitting and would even say I’m obsessed with yarn and knitting lace. There are fiber festivals that I go to each year – one is the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival (one of the biggest fiber festivals in the country) and the other is called Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, N.Y., Locally, I have a group of ladies I knit with and I also knit with the Sea Chanters – mostly while we are on tour! ff

Visit us on the Web at to comment on this issue of fanfare, e-mail us at

Fanfare (November/December 2013)  
Fanfare (November/December 2013)  

Navy Yard shooting Spotlight on Rachel Sarracco Spring concert tours