July/August 2015 w Volume 36 Number 4
Youtube video project Welcome aboard to our new XO! Spotlight on MUC Adam Tyler
A Message from the Commanding Officer It has been my pleasure to lead the wonderful men and women of the U.S. Navy Band since 2010. This summer I’ll be retiring from the Navy after 35 years of service. Working with the Sailors here in Washington has been a real treat, from touring the nation every year, performing at the White House, marching down Pennsylvania Ave. during the presidential inauguration-- there are too many highlights to recount. I’ll miss this command and these Sailors and their families, but it’s time for me and my family to begin the next chapter in our lives. My career has taken me all over the world. As a Navy musician, I remember the smiles on the faces of Chamorro children in the Marianas Islands during a concert; I remember performing next to Senegalese drummers in Dakar; I remember (all too well) life aboard USS Mount Whitney, and USS O’Bannon, and USS Barnstable County; I remember leading the NATO band in Italy and performing for the U.S. camps during the war in Kosovo; I remember being the XO at the School of Music and seeing young men and women, our newest generations of musicians, head for the fleet. I remember all of these and so much more. I’ve performed music on every continent except Antarctica, and I’ve seen firsthand how Navy music benefits our Navy and our nation. Long after I’m gone, Navy musicians will still be all over the world using music to connect with people from all walks of life, and to demonstrate why our Navy is important and what the Navy is doing every day to keep our nation and our allies safe.
fanfare Volume 36 Number 4
Commanding Officer/Leader CAPT Brian O. Walden
Public Affairs Chief MUCM Aaron L. Porter Editorial Staff MUCM Aaron L. Porter MUC Adam K. Grimm MUC Cynthia K. Wolverton MU1 Sarah F. Blecker MU1 Amanda Polychronis MU1 Maia Rodriguez
Photographers MUC Brian P. Bowman MUC Stephen W. Hassay MU1 James C. Anderson MU1 David B. Aspinwall MU1 Jon C. Barnes MU1 Eric A. Brown MU1 Jeremy D. Buckler MU1 Adele D. Mayne MU1 David Smith
Layout and Design MUC Stephen W. Hassay MU1 Adrienne W. Moore
I’m going to miss Navy life, but retiring is made a little easier knowing that our Navy bands are in the capable hands of our next generation of leaders. One such leader is Cmdr. Ken Collins. Ken just reported aboard here as executive officer and will, upon my retirement at the end of July, assume the duties of “acting” commanding officer. I’ve worked closely with Ken for the last couple of years during the realignment of Navy music, and I’m confident that the Navy Band will be in capable hands until the CNO selects the next CO. A heartfelt thanks to Mrs. Christinia Armstrong for her untiring work as our ombudsman. Our Sailors truly benefit from her dedication to this important program. Also, a special thanks to Master Chief Musician Kevin Dines for his incredible support. A true professional, he ensured I was always provided with the best counsel and advice toward success. Thanks to all of you for your continued and dedicated support of the Navy and Navy bands. Without your support, our Navy wouldn’t be the most capable and powerful Navy in the world.
fanfare is a bi-monthly magazine published by the U.S. Navy Band public affairs staff. Front Cover: The United States Navy Band performs for the live broadcast of Minnesota Public Radio’s “A Prairie Home Companion” with Garrison Keillor at the Filene Center, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Vienna, Va. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Musician Brian P. Bowman/Released)
Brian O. Walden, Captain, USN Commanding Officer/Leader
My son and I began our weekend in DC by stopping by Vienna this past Friday evening to hear the Commodores. What a thrill to hear the band! You guys are the best! -David (Facebook)
In Dahomey - A new version of an old favorite by Musician 1st Class David Miller
(Editor’s note: Musician 1st Class David Miller was asked to transcribe Percy Grainger’s “In Dahomey: Cakewalk Smasher” for the Concert Band’s performances at The Midwest Clinic in 2014. A video of the band performing this transcription will be released this summer on YouTube. For more about this project, read Musician 1st Class Maia Rodriguez’s article in this issue. Miller writes about the challenges of this assignment below.)
he challenge of transcribing a recently discovered piece by an undisputed giant in the field of wind ensemble music is a daunting one. Nonetheless, the task of bringing Percy Aldridge Grainger’s “In Dahomey: Cakewalk Smasher” to a modern audience has been one of the most rewarding endeavors of my Navy career. Grainger’s music is instantly recognizable to audiences everywhere. Works such as “Irish Tune from County Derry” and “Molly on the Shore”
rest firmly in the standard repertoire for bands of all levels, and his “Lincolnshire Posy” is one of the true masterpieces for winds. Australian by birth, he quickly established an international reputation as a concert pianist, conductor and composer. In 1903, Grainger attended an off-Broadway performance of Will Marion Cook’s “In Dahomey,” and he was impressed with the cakewalk dancing of the two lead characters, George Walker and Bert Williams. It should be noted that this musical of Cook’s was the first Broadway production ever to be written by a black composer. Grainger took a theme from Cook’s musical, and began improvising a cakewalk of his own during his piano recitals. As Grainger’s piece evolved, he added a melody from a foxtrot of Arthur Pryor’s. Pryor was the famous trombone soloist in John Philip Sousa’s band who went on to form his own touring band and to Continued on page 5
Navy Band videos: a social media experiment by Musician 1st Class Maia Rodriguez
e’re always asking ourselves here at the Navy Band “What can we do to further the mission?” If you look on our website, you’ll read the words, “Through ceremonies, national and regional tours, public concerts and recordings, the U.S. Navy Band inspires patriotism, elevates esprit de corps, enhances Navy awareness and public relations, supports recruiting and retention efforts, preserves the Nation’s musical heritage and projects a positive image at home and abroad.” In the past, one way to reach the widest audience was to produce Musician 1st Class John Armstrong performs Jean-Baptiste Arban’s “The Carnival of Venice” with the U.S. Navy Band during a recording project at the Hylton Center for the Performing Arts in Manassas, Va. (U.S. Navy photo by our own compact discs. Music Musician 1st Class Eric Brown/Released) lovers who can’t see the band in person might enjoy popping one into their players. But times are changing, and technology is advancing. This year, the Navy Band has produced a series of music videos with the primary goal of releasing them on social media. “The project came about because we’ve seen the response with some of the Continued on page 4
Loved your performance, even though it was cold! Your patriotic medley to close was phenomenal! Great voices, great instrumentation, terrific arrangements. Thanks so much. Please come back next summer. You’re the best. -Albert (Bethany Beach, Delaware)
Navy Band video project continued...
videos we’ve put on YouTube,” says Master Chief Musician Michael J. Schmitz, the producer of the project. “Some of the band’s concert videos have over 100,000 hits. When we do an audio CD, we generally press around 3,0004,000 copies. But with YouTube, the Internet is how you reach people.” For two days, the Concert Bandaccompanied by the Sea Chanters and a team The Concert Band and Sea Chanters perform Eric Whitacre’s “Sleep” during a recording project at the Hylton Center for the of audio engineers and Performing Arts in Manassas, Va. (U.S. Navy photo by Musician 1st Class Eric Brown/Released) videographers-were led Venice,” and the Naval Reserve March by John Philip by Executive Producer and Commanding Officer Sousa. “As this year was the 100th anniversary of the Capt. Brian O. Walden and supervised by Schmitz Naval Reserve, we felt it was appropriate to record in recording audio tracks and video footage at the that piece,” explained Musician 1st Class Darrell Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas, Virginia. Fitzpartin, associate producer. Pieces included “Song to the Moon” from Chief Recording Engineer Chief Musician Dvorak’s opera, Russalka, featuring soprano soloist Brian Bowman explains his part as providing the Musician 1st Class Susan Kavinski, Percy Grainger’s “mechanical know-how to achieve the producer’s “In Dahomey: Cakewalk Smasher,” transcribed by vision of what he wants.” Elaborating, he said, “The Musician 1st Class David J. Miller, “Sleep” by Eric producer is like, ‘OK, this is what I want it to sound Whitacre, Jean-Baptiste Arban’s “The Carnival of like.’ You can think of it like a race car driver and a
Musician 1st Class Susan Lewis Kavinski sings “Song to the Moon,” from Dvorak’s opera Russalka, with the U.S. Navy Band during a recording project at the Hylton Center for the Performing Arts in Manassas, Va. (U.S. Navy photo by Musician 1st Class Eric Brown/Released)
mechanic. The race car driver says, ‘I want it to steer like this,’ and the mechanic makes it happen.” He also mentioned how much it helped him to have Musician 1st Class Francis DuBois as his “copilot,” as he put it. Video Director Musician 1st Class Eric Brown said, “We had as many as seven GoPros (small remote cameras), and four camera operators. I have to take footage from as many as twelve cameras and edit that down. It’s basically like taking a bunch of Legos and arranging them for your big brother.” Specifically for Miller’s piece, he dedicated one camera to the 5-octave marimba alone. “Getting the coverage is my first priority,” he said. So when is the big reveal? “The plan is to release the videos throughout the year,” says Schmitz. I, for one, am looking forward to it. ff
Last night’s performance was awesome and we look forward to your next visit. Particularly enjoyed your female vocalist and most especially her rendition of Ella Fitzgerald’s “Imagine My Frustration”. Keep up the good work. -Ellen (Elizabeth City, North Carolina)
In Dahomey continued... compose pieces for his concerts. as inspiration for the instruments for which I wrote. In 1909, Grainger decided to finally write down a How best to make a concert band sound like a banjo? concert version of his improvised piece. He titled it I chose to put the melody in the trombone section “In Dahomey: Cakewalk Smasher.” The piece has with a light accompaniment of woodwinds and brass, optional cuts and alternate passages to change its and a strong accompaniment in the percussion. The length, depending on the performer’s preference. section of music marked “like a brass band” was an By this time, the cakewalk style was no longer as easy passage to orchestrate. popular as it had been a few years earlier. Grainger As I was creating this new version, I was wary of put the piece aside, and his manuscript lay in a the opening key signature, F# Major. It’s a key rarely drawer for 78 years. It was used for concert band, and rediscovered in 1987, and I wanted to find a more was published for the first readable key. But since time that year. Twentythe middle section of the seven years later, I was piece is in F Major, which asked by the Navy Band to is used frequently for create a transcription for our bands, I decided the best performances at the 2014 solution was to change the Midwest Clinic. F# passages to G flat, the The band pieces of Percy enharmonic equivalent. Grainger have a very It was at this point that recognizable, characteristic I realized Grainger’s sound that I wanted to reasoning for using these imitate. I studied his two key signatures: the instrumentation and music of Cook, the black transcription techniques composer, is performed by comparing his piano on the black keys in F#, compositions to their band and the music of Pryor, transcription counterparts, the white composer, is particularly his concert performed on the white favorite “Shepherd’s Hey.” keys in F. I believe that I noticed the soloistic Grainger was attempting to passages for woodwinds, make a musical statement the thicker sonority of of integration, both musical Lt. Cmdr. Charles Brendler, leader of the Navy Band, right, meets with Percy Grainger, center, and Ens. Richard Townsend, left, in the Washington area during all instruments playing and societal. World War II. (U.S. Navy file photo) together, and the way in Cook’s melodic cakewalk which he wrote the percussion parts. Incorporating and rhythmic swagger combined with Pryor’s these aspects and many more, I attempted to write contrasting bouncy foxtrot show how these a version of Grainger’s “In Dahomey” for band in disparate styles became the roots for jazz and swing a way that made it sound as though it came from music, which to this day have been vital to bringing his own hand. This is not the first time this has musicians together from all ethnic backgrounds. been done with Grainger’s music; Sousa created a The process of writing this new piece for concert version of Grainger’s “Handel in the Strand” that was band in the style of such an esteemed composer performed by his band, with the full approval of the was demanding, but to have it performed by my composer. talented colleagues was a thrill. We’re planning to Throughout the piece, there are passages labeled release a video of a recent performance of ours; be “clatteringly,” “strumpy, banjolike,” “like a brass sure to check the Navy Band’s YouTube channel band” and many other adjectives. I used these terms this summer. ff
Just wanted to compliment you on last eve Commodores concert, it was fantastic!! Loved the new charts and the soloist were outstanding. -Leo (Baltimore, Maryland)
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 www.twitter.com/usnavyband. For the most up-to-date information, please check our online performance calendar at: www.navyband.navy.mil
SATURDAY, JULY 4, 7 P.M.
THURSDAY, JULY 2, 7 P.M.
Old Town Winchester 9 N. Loudoun St. Winchester, Va.
SATURDAY, JULY 25, 7 P.M.
SEA CHANTERS Renfrew Museum 1010 E. Main St. Waynesboro, Pa.
SATURDAY, JULY 4, 11 A.M.
Independence Day Organ Recital Washington National Cathedral 3101 Wisconsin Ave. NW Washington, D.C.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 7 P.M.
Shamrock Park William A. Humbert Amphitheater 39 Hickory Ave. Bel Air, Md.
SATURDAY, JULY 4, 8 P.M. Avalon Theatre 40 E. Dover St. Easton, Md.
THURSDAY, JULY 9, 7 P.M.
FRIDAY, JULY 3, 7:30 P.M.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 8, 7 P.M. Springettsbury Township Park Amphitheater 1501 Mt. Zion Road York, Pa.
SATURDAY, JULY 11, 7 P.M. National Harbor 165 Waterfront St. National Harbor, Md.
THURSDAY, JULY 16, 7 P.M. Chambersburg Park Memorial Bandshell 1 Memorial Drive Chambersburg, Pa.
SATURDAY, JULY 18, 7 P.M. Shafer Memorial Park Shafer Park Drive Boonsboro, Md.
Harris Pavilion 9021 Center St. Manassas, Va.
COUNTRY CURRENT BLUEGRASS GROUP
SUNDAY, JULY 19, 6 P.M.
Belmont Bay Marina Pavilion 570 Harborside St. Woodbridge, Va.
Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History 10th St. and Constitution Ave. Washington, D.C.
THURSDAY, JULY 23, 5:30 P.M.
Fairfax County Government Center 12000 Government Center Parkway Fairfax, Va.
THURSDAY, JULY 23, 12 P.M.
THURSDAY, JULY 2, 7 P.M. Chambersburg Park Memorial Bandshell 1 Memorial Drive Chambersburg, Pa.
Inner Harbor Light St. and W. Pratt St. Baltimore, Md.
Black Rock Center for the Arts 12901 Town Commons Drive Germantown, Md.
THURSDAY, JULY 30, 6:45 P.M. College of Southern Maryland Prince Frederick Campus 115 J.W. Williams Road Prince Frederick, Md.
CHAMBER GROUPS FRIDAY, JULY 3, 11 A.M.
BRASS QUARTET “WINDJAMMERS” WOODWIND QUINTET National Air and Space Museum Independence Ave. and 6th St. Washington, D.C.
THURSDAY, JULY 23, 6:30 P.M. BRASS QUINTET Rockville Town Square 30 Maryland Ave. Rockville, Md.
SATURDAY, AUG. 1, 8 P.M. Rehoboth Beach Bandstand 1 Rehoboth Ave. Rehoboth Beach, Del.
THURSDAY, AUG. 6, 7 P.M. War Memorial Park North Tennessee Ave. Martinsburg, W. Va.
We had such a great time at the cruisers concert! [We] were dancing our hearts out! Thank you for a great time and for your service! -Aly (Bethany Beach, Delaware)
SATURDAY, AUG. 8, 6:15 P.M.
THURSDAY, AUG. 20, 7 P.M.
TUESDAY, AUG. 25, 7 P.M.
FRIDAY, AUG. 14, 6:30 P.M.
SATURDAY, AUG. 22, 8 P.M.
WEDNESDAY, AUG. 26, 7 P.M.
FRIDAY, AUG. 21, 6 P.M.
THURSDAY, AUG. 27, 7 P.M.
Hagerstown Community College 11400 Robinwood Drive Hagerstown, Md. Vienna Town Green 144 Maple Ave. E. Vienna, Va. Market Square 301 King St. Alexandria, Va.
SATURDAY, AUG. 22, 7 P.M. National Harbor 165 Waterfront St. National Harbor, Md.
THURSDAY, AUG. 27, 7:30 P.M.
National Museum of the Marine Corps 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway Triangle, Va.
THURSDAY, AUG. 13, 7 P.M. O’Donnell Wharf Lake 10400 O’Donnell Place Waldorf, Md.
SATURDAY, AUG. 15, 6 P.M.
Memorial Park in Town Square 22735 Washington St. Leonardtown, Md.
SUNDAY, AUG. 23, 7 P.M. Allen Pond Park 3330 Northview Drive Bowie, Md.
FRIDAY, AUG. 28, 6:30 P.M. Market Square 301 King St. Alexandria, Va.
SATURDAY, AUG. 29, 7:30 P.M. Reston Town Center 11911 Freedom Drive Reston, Va.
SATURDAY, AUG. 15, 7:30 P.M. Bethany Beach Bandstand 90 Garfield Parkway Bethany Beach, Del.
Harris Pavilion 9021 Center St. Manassas, Va.
Rehoboth Beach Bandstand 1 Rehoboth Ave. Rehoboth Beach, Del.
SATURDAY, AUG. 1, 7 P.M. National Harbor 165 Waterfront St. National Harbor, Md.
SATURDAY, AUG. 8, 6 P.M. Belle Isle State Park 1632 Belle Isle Road Lancaster, Va.
CRUISERS FALL TOUR The Cruisers depart Aug. 18 on a 15-day tour through Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois. The following is a list of tour performances.
TUESDAY, AUG. 18, 7 P.M.
Lock 3 Outdoor Covered Stage 200 S. Main St. Akron, Ohio
WEDNESDAY, AUG. 19, 7 P.M. Toledo Zoo Amphitheater 2700 Broadway Toledo, Ohio
THURSDAY, AUG. 20, 7 P.M. Macomb Center for the Performing Arts Main Stage 44575 Garfield Rd. Clinton Township, Mich.
FRIDAY, AUG. 21, 7:30 P.M. Dekalb Outdoor Theater 301 S. Center St. Auburn, Ind.
SATURDAY, AUG. 22, 7 P.M.
Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation 3411 Sherman Blvd. Fort Wayne, Ind.
Montague Band Shell 8636 Water St. White Lake, Ind. Waterfront Park 300 S. William Ludington, Mich.
Civic Auditorium 1001 Ridge St. La Porte, Ind.
FRIDAY, AUG. 28, 7 P.M. Chicago Navy Pier Landshark Beer Garden 600 E. Grand Ave. Chicago, Ill.
SATURDAY, AUG. 29, 5 P.M. Downtown Highland Park First St. and Central Ave. Chicago, Ill.
SUNDAY, AUG. 30, 4 P.M.
Barrington High School Auditorium 616 W. Main St. Barrington, Ill.
TUESDAY, SEPT. 1, 7 P.M. River Arts Center 105 9th St. Prairie du Sac, Wis.
COUNTRY CURRENT FALL TOUR Country Current departs Aug. 31 on a 16-day tour through Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Nebraska and Wyoming. The following is a list of tour performances.
MONDAY, AUG. 31, 11 A.M. AND TUESDAY, SEPT. 1, 11 A.M. Minnesota State Fair West End Market Stage 1311 Cosgrove St. St. Paul, Minn.
SUNDAY, AUG. 23, 4 P.M. Bronson Park 200 S. Rose St. Kalamazoo, Mich.
Continued on page 8
I think there should be a military band all the time on @prairie_home loving this!!!
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 2, 7 P.M. Tornstrom Auditorium 804 Oak St. Brainerd, Minn.
THURSDAY, SEPT. 3, 7:30 P.M. South Dakota State University Performing Arts Center 1601 11th St. Brookings, S.D.
FRIDAY, SEPT. 4, 7:30 P.M. Northern State University Aberdeen Civic Theater Aberdeen, S.D.
SUNDAY, SEPT. 6, 4 P.M.
Belle Mehus City Auditorium 210 N. 6th St. Bismarck, N.D.
MONDAY, SEPT. 7, 2 P.M. Medora Musical Medora, N.D.
TUESDAY, SEPT. 8, 7:30 P.M. Dawson County High School 900 N. Kedrick Ave. Glendive, Mont.
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 9, 7 P.M. Shrine Auditorium 1125 Broadwater Ave. Billings, Mont.
THURSDAY, SEPT. 10, 7 P.M. Heritage Center Theater 1635 Reata Drive Gillette, Wyo.
FRIDAY, SEPT. 11, 7 P.M. Main Street Square 526 Main St. Rapid City, S.D.
SUNDAY, SEPT. 13, 7 P.M. Midwest Theater 1707 Broadway Scottsbluff, Neb.
MONDAY, SEPT. 14, 7:30 P.M. Buchanam Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall University of Wyoming 1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, Wyo.
TUESDAY, SEPT. 15, 7 P.M. Cheyenne Civic Center 510 W. 20th St. Cheyenne, Wyo.
2015 SUMMER CONCERT SCHEDULE
MONDAYS, JULY 6 - AUG. 31, 8 P.M. U.S. CAPITOL (WEST SIDE)
July 6, Country Current 13, Commodores 20, Country Current 27, Concert Band Aug. 3, Concert Band 10, Concert Band 17, Concert Band 24, Concert Band 31, Concert Band
TUESDAYS, JULY 7 - SEPT. 1, 7:30 P.M. U.S. NAVY MEMORIAL 701 PENNSYLVANIA AVE. NW
July 7, 14, 21, 28, Aug. 11, 18, 25, Sept. 1,
Commodores Country Current Concert on the Avenue Concert on the Avenue Concert on the Avenue Concert Band Concert Band Concert Band
THURSDAYS, JULY 18 - AUG. 20, 8 P.M. U.S. CAPITOL (WEST SIDE)
July 30, Sea Chanters Aug. 20, Commodores
Saw the Commodores last night in Lovettsville, VA. Loved it! Hope they and the other Navy will come to Lovettsville (again)! -Colleen (Facebook)
Retired Chief Musician Richard Bain 1926-2015 The entire Navy music program mourns the passing of retired Chief Musician Richard N. Bain. Bain had the unique reputation of being a harmonica soloist with the Navy Band. He started playing the harmonica as a boy in his home town of Westboro, Massachusetts, and at the age of 15 was invited by Borrah Minovitch to tour the country with his “Harmonica Rascals.” He joined the Navy in January 1945 and, after a three-year enlistment, returned to civilian life playing with Fred Waring and Kay Kyser on NBC. He also appeared with Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra and the Buffalo and New England Philharmonic orchestras. During the Korean conflict Bain was recalled to the Navy and joined the U.S. Navy Band, becoming the first harmonica soloist ever assigned to a major service band. While with the band, he played for several heads of state including the Queen of England, Prince Phillip and King Saud of Saudi Arabia. The Eisenhower White House also requested his talents, and one of his most memorable assignments was entertaining the president, Mrs. Eisenhower and their family on their 42nd wedding anniversary during a boat trip down the Potomac River. Bain retired from the band in 1971 to accept the
position of band/festival coordinator for Walt Disney World, responsible for presenting selected performing groups and coordinating special events. In 1974, he returned to Washington to help organize the U.S. Armed Forces Bicentennial Band, Chief Musician Richard Bain and served as their director of public relations. Later, he became deputy director of ceremonies and special activities for the Department of Memorial Affairs, and helped produce the opening ceremonies for President Reagan’s first inaugural. He continued to perform on the harmonica, appearing as a soloist with the Navy Band on their 50th anniversary concert in 1975, and with the Boston Pops Orchestra. He is survived by his wife Pat, and son Michael.
Retired Chief Musician Richard B. Davis, 1936-2015 The entire Navy music program mourns the passing of retired Chief Musician Richard B. Davis, who died on May 25, 2015. Born in Trucksville, Pennsylvania, Davis was a versatile musician. He sang in church beginning at age 4, and was studying piano by the age of 9. While he was in high school, he learned to play the clarinet and tenor saxophone. He graduated from Patton Masonic School for Boys in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, receiving a diploma in carpentry. After attending Wilkes College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, with a scholarship
in music education, he enlisted in the Navy and attended basic training at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois. From May to August, 1959, he completed the Naval School of Music basic course and, at the request of a friend, successfully auditioned for the Navy Band Sea Chanters. During his time with the band he performed at the Kennedy Center, the Berlin wall and on President Eisenhower’s good will tour of Brazil. He retired in June 1978. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Mary, and one daughter, Amy.
I was blown away by the talent and energy of Country Current whey they performed this Saturday at the Benson Hammond House Strawberry Festival. The cover of Roving Gambler was especially awesome! -Oliver (Facebook)
Welcome aboard to Cmdr. Ken Collins, Navy Band’s new XO by Master Chief Musician Aaron Porter
n April, the Navy Band welcomed aboard our new executive officer, Cmdr. Kenneth Collins. Collins joins the band after 26 years of significant accomplishment as an enlisted percussionist and a commissioned bandmaster with Navy bands all over the world. A native of Reno, Cmdr. Ken Collins Nevada, Collins is a graduate of that city’s Wooster High School, and of the University of Nevada-Reno, receiving a bachelor’s degree in music education. He enlisted in the Navy in 1989, and after attending the Naval School of Music in Little Creek, Virginia, was assigned to Navy bands in Guam and Newport, Rhode Island. He was commissioned an ensign in 1998, and was assigned to the U.S. Navy Band as the administrative officer for the Concert/ Ceremonial Band. From there, he served at the U.S. Naval Academy Band in Annapolis, Maryland, Navy Band Northwest in Silverdale, Washington, U.S. Fair winds and following seas to... MUCM Michael McDonald, who retired from the Navy Band after 29 years of service. McDonald served as principal clarinetist, concert master and concert band unit leader. Upon his retirement, he received the Meritorious Service Medal.
Pacific Fleet Band in Honolulu, Navy Band Southeast in Jacksonville, Florida, and at the U.S. Naval Forces Europe Band in Naples, Italy. Before reporting to the Navy Band, he served as the head of Navy Music/Fleet Band Activities in Millington, Tennessee. During his time in the fleet he attended the University of Illinois, receiving a master’s degree in conducting, and Hawaii Pacific University, graduating with a master’s degree in business administration. Collins’ assignment to the Navy Band comes at a particularly auspicious moment in the history of the Navy music. As was reported in the November/ December 2014 issue of Fanfare, the Navy music program has recently undergone a major realignment, with all Navy music assets being aligned as field activities of the U.S. Navy Band. As director of Fleet Band Activities, Collins worked very closely with the band’s commanding officer, Capt. Walden, to make sure this reorganization was realized as smoothly as possible. As one might imagine, a major change of this sort takes time to fully come to reality, and there are still many details being sorted out. We’re especially lucky to have Collins here as XO during this time, and we’re also very fortunate that he will be our acting CO when Capt. Walden retires in July. The music program is looking forward to the leadership, experience and direction our new XO will bring to this effort, and as we wish fair winds and following seas to Capt. Walden, we know the entire program is in good hands with the commander at the helm. Welcome aboard, sir! ff
Welcome aboard to...
Musicians 1st Class Francis DuBois, audio engineer; Chelsi Ervien, alto vocalist with the Sea Chanters; Joseph Gonzalez, percussionist with the Concert/Ceremonial Band, and Tyler Worosello, clarinetist with the Concert/Ceremonial Band.
MU1 Benjamin Bransford, Sailor of the Quarter, and MUC Rob Holmes, Senior Enlisted of the Quarter.
Thank you to the Commodores for coming to Lovettsville, VA last night. My kids loved the music and the performers. Everyone was very impressed, and it was great to spend a patriotic night with a large contingent of the community. -Kevin (Facebook)
Spotlight on... Chief Musician Adam Tyler by Chief Musician Cynthia Wolverton
Fans of the Navy Band Sea Chanters will certainly recognize baritone vocalist Chief Musician Adam Tyler for his role in the everpopular quartet renditions of “Twelve Days of Christmas” and “Jersey Boys.” He has been delighting Navy Band audiences for 15 years and is now the unit leader of the Navy’s official chorus. Tell us about your musical background. I come from a very artistic family and music has always been part of my life. My dad sang and played guitar in a bluegrass band with my aunt and my stepmom while I was growing up. When I was in college he shifted his focus from music to sculpting. He continues to make a living doing public art in the Southwest region of the U.S. My uncle is an actor, director and playwright. At the age of 8, I started playing piano by ear. I began taking lessons from my aunt when I was 10 and then started singing when I was 12. I continued pursuing both voice and piano throughout high school. My aunt was a beginningintermediate piano teacher, so I eventually “outgrew” her and had to find a more advanced classicallytrained teacher. At the end of my senior year my piano teacher told me I had to make a decision about whether I was going to study voice or piano. She insisted that I couldn’t “seriously” pursue both and must choose one. That made absolutely no sense to me, so I ignored her advice! I went on to major in voice at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff while keeping my piano skills sharp by playing for voice lessons and recitals. My freshman year I got a job as a singing waiter and playing piano at Black Bart’s Steakhouse & Musical Revue. It was there that I met and became friends with alto vocalist Chief Musician Beth Revell and pianist Musician 1st Class Caroline Evans, who I would later actively recruit to audition for the Sea Chanters. My first love has always been the theater. I was in my first musical when I was 12 and I was hooked. I continued to do plays, musicals and opera throughout my high school and college career. I continued doing theater, both regionally and professionally, for a couple years
after graduation. Unfortunately, I had to stop when I joined the Navy, as our schedule does not allow for the rehearsal time and run of a show. I do miss it from time to time. You currently serve as unit leader for the Sea Chanters. Tell us a little about this role. I have been the unit leader for a Chief Musician Adam Tyler little more than two years now. Like any job, there are good and bad days. Being responsible for everything that happens in the unit and for the well-being of 22 Sailors, I’ve learned you have to be pretty thick-skinned to be a leader and take everything in stride. If you had told me 15 years ago when I started at the Navy Band that I would someday hold this position, I would have said, “You’re crazy!” Overall, it’s a great group to be in charge of. I am consistently in awe of the amount of talent contained in our group and what we are capable of accomplishing, and I’m proud to be a part of it. Share two or three highlights during your time with the band. That’s tough! We’ve been a part of so many amazing things over the course of my career. First would probably be singing for President Obama’s first inauguration. This was such a groundbreaking historical event and we were honored to be a part of it. Second would be singing the national anthem at the Super Bowl in New York City. Standing in the middle of the football field for an event of that magnitude and singing for that many people was a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget. And finally, travelling to Hawaii to sing for the premiere of the movie “Pearl Harbor.” This happened very early in my first enlistment. The Sea Chanters were invited Continued on page 12 by Disney to take part
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Spotlight continued... in this event. The premiere took place on the deck of USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and we performed with the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra as part of the opening and closing ceremony. They flew in survivors of the bombing to see the film. We were also able to meet country singer Faith Hill and a few of the film’s actors. It was a great experience and will probably never happen again during my time here. How has the Navy Band evolved during your time here? I joined the Navy in 2000. Since then, the Navy Band has changed quite a bit. However, the thing I’ve noticed the most is the improvement in overall
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musical quality and talent. Not only in my unit, but command-wide. When we’re holding auditions to fill an opening, we always strive to hire someone better than the last person we hired. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working? I got married a little over a year ago and we bought a house. Having said that, I think it’s safe to say that most of my spare time is spent adjusting to married life, doing projects around the house and taking care of our recently acquired dog. ff
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Published on Jun 29, 2015
Published on Jun 29, 2015
Video recording project; Welcome aboard to new XO; Grainger's In Dahomey; Spotlight on Adam Tyler; Capt. Walden set to retire