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January/February 2014 w Volume 35 Number 1

Spotlight on MUC John Parsons Concert Band and Sea Chanters Tours

A Message from the Commanding Officer


appy 2014! As I look back on 2013, I can say with certainty that it has been one of the oddest years I’ve experienced as a naval officer. Between sequestration and the government shutdown, we were forced to cancel two tours, the Navy birthday concert, the International Saxophone Symposium, our participation at the Midwest Clinic and numerous public concerts. There has been some good news, however. We were able to perform our annual holiday concerts at Constitution Hall, which “sold out” as fast as we’ve ever seen. The holiday show, like the Navy birthday concert and our summer Concerts on the Avenue, show off this band’s versatility and professionalism. I couldn’t be prouder of the way the Sailors here work together to pull off such great concerts. More good news for 2014: our national concert tours are back! The Concert Band and Sea Chanters will be performing in nine states in February and March, including Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. I can’t tell you how excited I am to get back on the road, sharing our Navy story and Navy music with people all across our great nation. This year, we’ll be celebrating the bicentennial of our national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” It was during the Battle of Fort McHenry in 1814 that Francis Scott Key, while being held aboard the British ship HMS Tonnant, penned the poem that would later become our national anthem. We’ll be on hand to celebrate this milestone when the Navy sails into Baltimore for one of 2014’s six Navy Weeks.


Finally, I want to take a moment to thank our boss, the outgoing Chief of Information Rear Adm. John Kirby, who has served in that capacity since August 2012. He was recently appointed Pentagon press secretary. We wish him all the best in his new position, and sincerely thank him for his support over the last 16 months. We’re looking forward to working with Capt. Dawn Cutler, deputy chief of information, who will be acting CHINFO until a replacement for Rear Adm. Kirby is identified.

Volume 35 Number 1

Commanding Officer/Leader CAPT Brian O. Walden

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

Photographers MUC Brian P. Bowman MUC Stephen W. Hassay 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. Front Cover: Photo collage of Sea Chanter and Concert Band tours (U.S. Navy graphic art by MUC Stephen Hassay)

Sea Chanters


We have an exciting 2014 to look forward to. I appreciate your support and wish you all the best for a happy new year!

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

I heard the inaugural performance of the Sea Chanters Quarterdeck Consort today at the Old Presbyterian Church in Alexandria. Wonderful! Is there any style of music the Sea Chanters do *not* excel in? Sea chanteys, Broadway, rock, pop, country, classical and sacred - they do it all. Wesley - Facebook

Navy Band 2013 year in review by Master Chief Musician Aaron Porter


hough government shutdowns and sequestration have had an impact on operations throughout the armed forces, your Navy Band has remained busy over the last year. For the 12 months from Nov. 1, 2012 to Oct. 31, 2013, the band played 1,407 jobs for a total audience of 1,588,438. Here’s a partial breakdown of the numbers by job type:

Total ceremonies: 830 (including full and standard [bugler] honors funerals at Arlington National Cemetery and other ceremonies). Total public concerts: 228 (includes public concerts by all groups and small chamber ensembles). Other jobs included Music in the Schools performances, receptions and protocol jobs for military and civilian dignitaries. We hope you enjoy this montage of photos from the band’s concerts and ceremonies in 2013. ff

Continued on page 6 Sea Chanters

We had the pleasure of seeing the Sea Chanters in Winchester, Va., today. We also saw them there in 2012. Both times, we left with songs on our tongues, a smile on our face, our toes tapping. We have such a great time at your concerts. Thank you for all that you do!! We look forward to your next concert. Michelle - Facebook


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:



Thursday, JAN. 23, 7 P.M.

by Master Chief Musician Aaron Porter


Calvert Library 850 Costley Way Prince Frederick, Md.

eaders of fanfare will remember from previous issues that, due to the fiscal restraints imposed by sequestration, we had to cancel part of the Sea Chanters’ 2013 spring tour as well as the entire tours for Country Current and Commodores. We’re pleased to announce that the spring tours for the Concert Band and Sea Chanters are back on, with schedules of 24 and 20 days, respectively. We’re also very happy to announce that the Cruisers are scheduled to tour Texas this May and that the fall tours for Country Current and Commodores are being planned. More information about those tours will be in future editions. When sequestration took effect, the entire Department of Defense severely curtailed its outreach activities, to the point of canceling many events altogether, such as band tours, Navy Weeks, port visits and air shows by the Blue Angels and other flight and jump demonstration teams. Since then, the DOD and all the military services realized that community outreach events are crucial to reinforcing trust and confidence in the military and its most important asset – people. Effective community outreach ensures the military connects with citizens to showcase the all-volunteer force and its readiness to defend the nation. In July, the deputy secretary of defense established a team of senior executives to generate a plan that supported reinstating limited public outreach while acknowledging today’s fiscal restraints. The plan, endorsed by senior military and civilian leaders and approved by the secretary of defense on Sept. 30, represents a 45% reduction in the volume of events from previous years. For military bands, this means a return to national concert tours, one of our top priorities. All musicians love to play before live audiences, and one of the most gratifying ways to do this is by visiting and performing for the citizens of this great country where they live. We are looking forward to getting back on the road again, bringing you the best in American military music!

Sea Chanters

concert Band 2014 Spring TOUR

Westfield High School 4700 Stonecroft Blvd. Chantilly, Va.

Friday, JAN. 31, 4:30 P.M. Fairfax High School 3501 Rebel Run Fairfax, Va.


Friday, JAN. 24, 7 P.M.

Colonial Forge High School 550 Courthouse Road Stafford, Va.


Saturday, JAN. 25, 8 P.M. Landan School 6101 Wilson Lane Bethesda, Md.


Wednesday, JAN. 29, 7 P.M.


Sunday, Feb. 2, 3 p.m.

Loudoun Valley High School 340 N Maple Ave. Purcellville, Va.

Saturday, Feb. 15, 7 p.m. C.D. Hylton High School 14051 Spriggs Road Woodbridge, Va.

Country Current


Navy Band tours are back!

The Concert Band departs March 5 on a 24-day tour through Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. The following is a list of tour performances.

Wednesday, Feb. 5, 7:30 p.m. Preston-Bondurant Auditorium Radford, Va.

Thursday, Feb. 6, 7 p.m. Toy F. Reid Auditorium Kingsport, Tenn.

Friday, Feb. 7, 6 p.m.

Park Vista Hotel and Conference Center Gatlinburg, Tenn.

Wow! Country Current gave a great performance tonight at College of Southern Md. Thanks for the hard work you put in to make your performances excellent! Having a U.S. military band which performs uniquely American music is a gift. Looking forward to next time already! Keep pick’n and grinning! Heather - Facebook

Saturday, Feb. 8, 7 p.m. The Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oxford, Miss.

Sunday, Feb. 9, 3 p.m. Monroe Civic Center Jack Howard Theater Monroe, La.

Monday, Feb. 10, 7:30 p.m. Northwestern State University of Louisiana Performing Arts Center Natchitoches, La.

Tuesday, Feb. 11, 7:30 p.m.

First Baptist Church of Lafayette Lafayette, La.

Wednesday, Feb. 12, 7 p.m. Brazosport High School JMPC Freeport, Texas

Sunday, Feb. 23, 2 p.m.

Dyer County High School Newbern, Tenn.

Monday, Feb. 24, 7 p.m. Austin High School Decatur, Ala.

Tuesday, Feb. 25, 7 p.m. Tullahoma High School Tullahoma, Tenn.

Wednesday, Feb. 26, 7 p.m. Soldier and Sailor Memorial Auditorium Chattanooga, Tenn.

Thursday, Feb. 27, 7 p.m. James R. Cox Auditorium University of Tennessee Knoxville, Tenn.

Friday, Feb. 28, 7 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 13, 7:30 p.m.

P.E. Monroe Auditorium Lenior-Rhyne University Hickory, N.C.

Saturday, Feb. 15, 7:30 p.m.

Sea Chanter 2014 Spring TOUR

Jackson Auditorium Seguin, Texas

Cedar Park High School Performing Arts Cedar Park, Texas

Sunday, Feb. 16, 3:00 p.m.

Allen ISD Performing Arts Center Allen, Texas

Monday, Feb. 17, 7:30 p.m. Murchison Performing Arts Center University of North Texas Denton, Texas

Tuesday, Feb. 18, 7:30 p.m. Paschal High School Ft. Worth, Texas

Wednesday, Feb. 19, 7:30 p.m. Texas A&M University Commerce, Texas

Thursday, Feb. 20, 7 p.m.

Sullivan Performing Arts Center Texarkana, Texas

Friday, Feb. 21, 7 p.m.

Overton High School Auditorium Memphis, Tenn.

The Sea Chanters depart March 9 on an 20-day tour through Arkansas, New Mexico, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma and Virginia. The following is a list of tour performances.

Sunday, Mar. 9, 7:30 p.m. KIMO Theatre Albuquerque, N.M.

Monday, Mar. 10, 7:30 p.m. Pearson Auditorium New Mexico Military Institute Roswell, N.M.

Tuesday, Mar. 11, 7:30 p.m. Amarillo Civic Center Amarillo, Texas

Wednesday, Mar. 12, 7:30 p.m. Allen Theatre Lubbock, Texas

Thursday, Mar. 13, 7 p.m.

Herschal H. Crow Fine Arts Auditorium Western Oklahoma State College Altus, Okla.

Friday, Mar. 14, 7:30 p.m. Chambers Auditorium Grand Prairie High School Grand Prairie, Texas

Sunday, Mar. 16, TBD

Charles W. Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts Richardson, Texas

Monday, Mar. 17, 7:30 p.m. First Presbyterian Church of Oklahoma City Oklahoma City, Okla.

TuesDay, Mar. 18, 7 p.m. Paris Jr. High School Weger Auditorium Paris, Texas

Wednesday, Mar. 19, 7 p.m.

Trinity United Methodist Church Little Rock, Ark.

Thursday, Mar. 20, 6 p.m. Administration Auditorium Harding University Searcy, Ark.

Friday, Mar. 21, 7 p.m.

James H. Clark Auditorium Conway, Ark.

Saturday, Mar. 22, 7 p.m. Alma Performing Arts Center Alma, Ark.

Sunday, Mar. 23, 6:30 p.m. EACC Fine Arts Center Forrest City, Ark.

Tuesday, Mar. 25, 7:30 p.m. Allen Arena David Lipscomb University Nashville, Tenn.

Wednesday, Mar. 26, 7 p.m.

The Paramount Center for the Arts Bristol, Tenn.

Thursday, Mar. 27, 7 p.m.

Blacksburg High School Auditorium Blacksburg, Va.

Friday, Mar. 28, 7 p.m.

Harrisonburg High School Harrisonburg, Va.

Country Current

Fantastic concert by Country Current at the College of So. Maryland tonight. Wonderful time was had by all in attendance. Thanks for coming to Southern Maryland. Grace - Facebook


Navy Band 2013 year in review continued

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Concert Band

@usnavyband at our High School tonight. Amazingly talented group of musicians who are proud to serve!


@tevans100 – Twitter

Spotlight on...Chief Musician John Parsons by Senior Chief Musician Juan Vazquez

Chief Musician John Parsons currently serves two important roles for the Navy Band. For the past 12 years he has been a driving force for the band’s jazz ensemble, the Commodores, as their drummer. He was recently appointed information systems chief. His desire to contribute at the highest level makes him a credit to the organization. Tell us about your musical beginnings. I grew up in Yorktown, Va., and attended Tabb High School. Under the direction of Percy Ironmonger I had the unusual privilege of having music heavily integrated into my curriculum. In addition to having jazz ensemble every day for fourth period, I had percussion class every day for sixth period and full wind ensemble rehearsal after school. I put off viewing the movie “Mr. Holland’s Opus” for years until finally caving and watching it on television one day. I had no idea how many parallels there were in the movie and in my real-life situation. Indeed, I owe my entire career to my high school band director. He was my musical inspiration and had everything to do with my development as a young musician. Following high school graduation, I attended Old Dominion University for a year while working full time as a freelance musician in the Virginia Beach, Va., area. I continued working as a full-time musician for more than 10 years, performing with some of the area’s best jazz musicians, including the renowned jazz fusion group Secrets, out of Richmond, Va. Carter Beauford, drummer for the Dave Matthews Band, was leaving the group, and I was hired as his replacement. Performing with Secrets was one of the musical highlights of my career. We played everything from Weather Report to the Yellow Jackets and Steps Ahead. The experience was both thrilling and challenging. As fate would have it, I was subbing for my best friend on a gig in Annapolis, Md., and a few guys from the Naval Academy Band came to check us out. Master Chief Musician James Cunningham, now retired, asked if I’d consider auditioning for the Naval Academy Band were there ever to be an opening. I gave him my contact information and the

rest is history. Two years later I auditioned for the Naval Academy Band’s Electric Brigade and won the position. I spent six years in Electric Brigade before auditioning for the Navy Band Cruisers. I moved to the Commodores in 2001. Congratulations on your new role as the Chief Musician John Parsons Navy Band’s information systems chief. Can you tell us about the position? Recently, I had the honor of being appointed information systems chief for our command. While concurrently serving as the drummer for the Commodores, I am the contract technical representative for the Navy Marine Corps Intranet network enterprise, the information assurance manager and the deputy command information officer under Field Support Activity. As CTR, I manage all users and computers on the NMCI enterprise for the band. As the command IAM, it is my responsibility to ensure the organization is in compliance with all information assurance standards through reporting and oversight of command information assurance practices. My CIO responsibilities under FSA include ensuring command compliance with Department of the Navy information assurance fiscal directives, submission of expenditure projections to the comptroller and projection of future IT requirements. Overseeing a staff of five collateral duty personnel, my job as information systems chief is to direct my staff in the operation of the infosys office, including user support, supplies, and equipment and software management. It is also my responsibility to manage the band’s resources within the NMCI network enterprise. You currently also serve as the drummer with the Navy Band’s jazz ensemble, the Commodores. Tell us a little about this role. The first professional big band I ever heard was the U.S. Air Force Band’s jazz Continued on page 8 ensemble, the Airmen of

Country Current

Each one of the performers appeared to be a virtuoso with their instrument, and the show gave the audience a chance to enjoy their solo moments as well as their musical cohesion. The players on lead guitar, banjo, violin and steel guitar were standouts. Rick – Hughesville, Md.




Presorted FIRST-CLASS MAIL U.S. POSTAGE PAID Washington DC Permit No 6184

of the navy



Spotlight continued... Note, who performed a concert at my high school. I was blown away by not only their power and versatility, but the musical role of the drum set within it. I remember thinking how amazing it would be to have the opportunity to work full time in a jazz big band with musicians at that professional level. As you may know, the sustainment of any full-time jazz ensemble is not economically viable in today’s environment. Most of the full-time big bands left in existence are in the military. It has been my honor to be one of the keepers of the art of big band drumming. Playing with the Commodores for the last

12 years has been the experience of a lifetime. Leaving the Commodores was the hardest decision of my life; however, opportunities are often once-in-a-lifetime, and the chance to become an information assurance manager of an echelon two command was one I couldn’t pass up. What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? I don’t have a lot of hobbies. My work is my hobby. However, if you must know, I love practicing, playing with my tech toys, and spending time with my wonderful wife, Linda, and my dog, Tucker. ff

Welcome aboard to...

Chief and Sailor of the Quarter Oct-Dec 2013 MUC Ruth Keehner MU1 Casey Elliott

Welcome aboard to Musician 1st Class Maia Rodriguez, alto vocalist for the Sea Chanters; and Musician 1st Class David Smith, trumpet instrumentalist with the Cruisers.

Fair winds and following seas to...

Musician 1st Class Jeremy Middleton, string bass instrumentalist/vocalist with Country Current, who is retiring after 20 years on active duty.


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

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Fanfare (January/February 2014)  

2013 in pictures Spotlight on John Parsons Tours are back!

Fanfare (January/February 2014)  

2013 in pictures Spotlight on John Parsons Tours are back!