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July/August 2016 w Volume 37 Number 4

Battle of Midway A history of the Lollipops Concerts Country Current and Cruisers tour Spotlight on LCDR Mark Corbliss

A Message from the Commanding Officer


fanfare Volume 37 Number 4 Commanding Officer CAPT Kenneth C. Collins

Public Affairs Officer MUC Adam K. Grimm Editorial Staff MUCS Melissa D. Bishop MU1 Sarah F. Blecker Layout and Design MUCS Stephen W. Hassay MU1 Adrienne W. Moore

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

fanfare is a bi-monthly magazine published by the U.S. Navy Band public affairs staff. Front Cover: Senior Chief Musician Michael Bayes conducts the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Band at the U.S. Navy Memorial during a wreath laying ceremony in honor of the 74th anniversary of the Battle of Midway. Fought on the high seas of the Pacific, the Battle of Midway was the turning point of WWII and is the U.S. Navy’s most significant naval victory. (U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Musician Stephen Hassay/released)



ummer is in full swing here in Washington, D.C. That means your Navy Band has been hard at work, performing not only at the U.S. Capitol and the Navy Memorial, but also at public parks, town squares, baseball stadiums, marinas and monuments. We enjoy the opportunity our performances afford us to connect with people from around the country who are visiting our nation’s capital. The Navy Band has produced a number of different shows over the years. Our current Concerts on the Avenue production was developed from many of our past shows. In this edition of fanfare we take a look back at one of our most popular productions, the Lollipops Concerts. For nearly 30 years, every August, these shows were attended by thousands of children and their families. We hope you enjoy this look back at a different era in our history. This summer has been one of important milestones. First, we acknowledge the passing of two former Navy Band members: retired Chief Musician Eduardo Buan and Musician 2nd Class Julius La Rosa. We bid fair winds and following seas to Master Chief Musician Aaron Porter, who served the Navy for 30 years, Senior Chief Musician Pete Czekaj, who served for 26 years and Musician 1st Class Nick Cooper, who served 20 years. Only 1.7 percent of the U.S. population has served in the Navy, and only 17 percent of those in uniform make it to 20 years or more. We thank them for spending most of their adult life serving our country. We also celebrate the advancement of two new master chiefs and five new senior chiefs here at the Navy Band. As always, thank you for your support. If you happen to be in the National Capital Region this summer, please consider making a Navy Band concert one of your activities. We would love to see you.

Kenneth C. Collins, Captain, USN Commanding Officer

I was fortunate to attend the Norwalk CT performance of the Sea Chanters Chorus on April 20th. It was a wonderful evening which was over all too soon…It was a very nice way for someone like me, whose father served in WW2, but has no other military connection, to feel really proud of the work our military does for us today. Thank you again for such a lovely evening. – Linda, Norwalk, Conn.

A Look Back at Lollipops Concerts By Senior Chief Musician Melissa Bishop


he Fantasy Train. Peter Pan. Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Snow White. R2D2. Hampton the Sea Monster and his nephew, Nestor. If you have been a fan of the Navy Band for more than two decades, you may recognize a few of the characters who starred in the popular summer concerts known as Lollipops Concerts. Begun in 1967 with Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Mitchell as leader, these concerts were a once-a-year production on the third Thursday of August that delighted children and their parents for nearly 30 years. They were part of Mitchell’s lasting legacy of commitment to educational outreach and quality entertainment for children. In the early years, the concerts were performed on the Watergate barge moored on the Potomac near Memorial Bridge. Beginning in 1974, the Lollipops Concerts were held on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial. In 1984, they moved to the Sylvan Theater on the grounds of the Washington Monument. Retired Chief Musician Heidi Hunter Kammer was the fourth woman assigned to the Navy Band as a singer and a member of the mixed-vocal group Aquarians before she joined the public affairs office.

She remembers the Lollipops Concerts as something that brought band members together with a common goal. By the mid-1970s, Lt. Cmdr. Ned Muffley had been appointed the band’s leader and wanted to do “total-package” concerts with all the performing units coming together for one production. Kammer’s favorite moment took place in 1976, the bicentennial year. Children from all the embassies in Washington, D.C., had been invited to perform “It’s A Small World” in traditional folk costumes. Five thousand candles donated by local churches had been passed out to audience members with instructions to light them during this musical number. Kammer says it was quite moving to look out and see the light from thousands of candles shining on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial with children from all over the world singing together on stage. The late Jere Wallace was a master chief musician assigned to the Navy Band in 1976 to head up the productions team after serving many years in the Naval Academy Band. He was responsible for the beloved Fantasy Train that was a fixture of Lollipops Concerts for many years. The train would cross the stage, stop to drop off a new musical act, and then depart again, adding a new train car each time it did so. Wallace wrote a song called “Fantasy Train” to be played every time the train crossed the stage. Children loved both the engineer, played by Wallace, and the magical appearance of the cast of the next number. Retired Senior Chief Musician Jim Richards, who joined the Navy Band’s productions team in 1981 as artistic director, tells how the concerts got their name. At first, the band bought a few boxes of lollipops for band members to hand out at the concerts. They went fast,

Performers for the Wizard of Oz show from left to right, Tom Van Vranken, Heidi Hunter Kammer, Lt. Cmdr. Ned Muffley, Wayne Lammers and Phil Robinson. (U.S. Navy file photo/released)

Continued on page 4


Thank you so much for coming to our town and performing last evening, what a great time! Wow, what a group of very talented people. The range of vocals, harmony, instrumentalists and music selections was superb! Thank you to all of you for your sacrifices and dedication to serving and protecting our country. God Bless you all and thank you again. – Gail, Ipswich, Mass.


Lollipops continued... as thousands of children attended. Later, the public affairs office contacted the National Confectioners Association to solicit donations. Boxes of candy soon filled the office, and the candy, mostly lollipops, was handed out to children in the audience by band members, and later, by Shriners clowns. Richards recalls crowds of people showing up for prime spots at the concert site four or five hours before the show. In order to provide entertainment for them during their wait in the hot August sun, small groups such as a Dixieland band or Country Current would perform. Richards describes weeks of long hours of work by Navy Band members, and sometimes their families, to build elaborate sets, make costumes and choreograph dance numbers. The budget for these productions was not large. Their success depended on the ingenuity and hard work of the band members. One year, funds for bringing the real Mickey Mouse from Disney World were provided by the Navy League. Other famous individuals who performed for the Lollipops Concerts included Mel Blanc, Willard Scott and Ed Walker. The productions also included children from the Teresa Home School based in Arlington, Virginia, and run by Coral Wigent, wife of former band member, John Wigent and their daughter Pam Lessell. One of the children who performed was Pam’s son David A program cover from the 20th annual Lollipops concert at the Jefferson Memorial.

The “Fantasy Train” at Leutze Park on the Washington Navy Yard (U.S. Navy file photo/released)



Lassell. He says, “I will always remember how much fun it was to be on stage looking out over the huge crowd at the Washington Monument…as a kid, it was really cool to be working along with adults. I think that experience gave all of us a little more confidence in ourselves as we grew older.” Retired Senior Chief Musician Karen Campbell was one of the first female Sea Chanters and later led productions. She says, “The Navy Band has always had an interest in cultivating music appreciation in young people. We

I just got home from an OUTSTANDING concert by the Navy Commodores at the Pottstown High School. What a wonderful and talented group of musicians!! I enjoyed the concert immensely and will check the events calendar for future performances in our area. It would be great if the band would come back to Pottstown in the future! – Beatrice, Pottstown, Pa.

about him when he got into trouble and wanted to meet him and talk to him after the concert. Senior Chief Musician Mike Bayes, now the Band’s head drum major, did not perform in any Lollipops Concerts, but attended them as a child with his family. The concert was an important part of summer that the family looked forward to every year, driving into D.C. from West Virginia. He and his brothers used to compete to see who could collect the most lollipops. Even as a child, he recognized that the wellcrafted productions happened as a result of the generosity of the band members in both time and talent. Connie Whitfield, left, and Jim Richards, right, stand in the completed Good Ship Lollipop (a replica of a Mississippi “The concerts made such a big river boat) at the Sylvan Theater. (U.S. Navy file photo/released) impression on me. They’re why I wanted to become a member of the treasured these productions.” Her most memorable U.S. Navy Band.” roles include performing as Mother Goose, Tweety There are only a few current Navy Band members Bird, a soda can and half of an elephant. Her favorite left who performed in the Lollipops Concerts, which role was Priscilla the tap-dancing penguin. Campbell were discontinued in 1996 as result of budget cuts and fondly recalls these concerts and notes that in their downsizing. At the time, the hey-day, they attracted audiences of nearly 20,000 Continued on page 10 Navy Band received letters people. The theme of the Lollipops Concerts of the early ‘90s was a Sea Island Fantasy starring Hampton the sea monster and his nephew, Nestor. The costume/contraption for Hampton was created by retired Master Chief Musician Chuck Yates, who was stuffed inside the foam creation, standing on a ladder and flapping his arms to make Hampton move and speak. Retired Senior Chief Steve Abshire was the voice of Hampton. Many of the children in the audience truly believed Hampton was real. They were mesmerized with a look of wonder on their faces throughout the show. They experienced the story through Hampton, worried

Peter Pan vs. Captain Hook, played by Michael Lewis, right, during a Lollipops Concert at the Jefferson Memorial (U.S. Navy file photo/released)


I had the great pleasure of seeing the US Navy Band twice this week…Can’t wait to see them again. Both shows were absolutely awesome! I love how they honor all branches of the US military. Proud to be an American and the wife of a USAF veteran. – Debby, via 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:



MONDAY, JULY 4, 8 P.M. Rehoboth Beach Bandstand 1 Rehoboth Ave. Rehoboth Beach, Del.



Washington National Cathedral 3101 Wisconsin Ave. NW Washington, D.C.

FRIDAY, JULY 22, 7 P.M. La Plata Town Hall 305 Queen Anne St. La Plata, Md.

THURSDAY, JULY 28, 6:45 P.M. College of Southern Maryland Prince Frederick campus 115 J.W. Williams Road Prince Frederick, Md.






Glen Echo Park 7300 MacArthur Blvd. Glen Echo, Md.

College of Southern Maryland 8730 Mitchell Road La Plata, Md.

SATURDAY, JULY 23, 7 P.M. Avalon Summer Series 40 E. Dover St. Easton, Md.


Calvert Marine Museum 14220 Solomons Island Road Solomons, Md.

SUNDAY, JULY 3, 7:30 P.M. Old Town Winchester 9 N. Loudoun St. Winchester, Va.

FRIDAY, JULY 1, 6:30 P.M.




FRIDAY, JULY 8, 6:15 P.M.

SUNDAY, JULY 10, 6:30 P.M.



Vienna Town Green 144 Maple Ave. E. Vienna, Va.

Walker Pavilion 11 Spring Farm Drive Lovettsville, Va.

Hagerstown Community Center 11400 Robinwood Drive Hagerstown, Md. Heritage Shores Military Club 1 Heritage Shores Circle Bridgeville, Del.


National Museum of the Marine Corps 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway Triangle, Va. Fairfax County Government Center 12000 Government Center Parkway Fairfax, Va. Bellevue State Park 800 Carr Road Wilmington, Del. Harris Pavilion 9021 Center St. Manassas, Va.

Bladensburg Waterfront Park 4601 Annapolis Road Bladensburg, Md.

THURSDAY, JULY 14 12 P.M., 1 P.M., 2 P.M.

National Museum of American History 14th St. and Constitution Ave. N.W. Washington, D.C.


MONDAY, JULY 4, 6 P.M. Baltimore Inner Harbor 201 E. Pratt St. Baltimore, Md.

THURSDAY, JULY 21, 7:30 P.M. Frying Pan Farm Park 2709 W. Ox Road Herndon, Va.

SATURDAY, JULY 23, 6 P.M. Belle Isle State Park 1632 Belle Isle Road Lancaster, Va.

THURSDAY, JULY 28, 6 P.M. Veteran’s Park 7800 Woodmont Ave. Bethesda, Md.

SATURDAY, JULY 30, 7 P.M. Black Rock Center for the Arts 12901 Town Commons Drive Germantown, Md.


THURSDAY, JULY 21, 6:30 P.M. Rockville Town Square 30 Maryland Ave. Rockville, Md.

Had the pleasure of seeing the US Navy Chamber Ensembles last night in Clarksville MD. Thanks so much for the great performance. If you get a chance to check out any of the various Navy bands you won’t be disappointed. – Charlene, via Facebook




TUESDAY, AUG. 30, 6:30 P.M.


War Memorial Park North Tennessee Ave. Martinsburg, W. Va.


CEREMONIAL BAND Fort McHenry Tattoo 2400 E. Fort Ave. Baltimore, Md.


WEDNESDAY, AUG. 3, 7:30 P.M. Lee District Park 6601 Telegraph Road Alexandria, Va.

SATURDAY, AUG. 6, 7 P.M. Walker Pavilion 11 Spring Farm Drive Lovettsville, Va.


National Museum of the Marine Corps 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway Triangle, Va.

FRIDAY, AUG. 12, 6:15 P.M.

Hagerstown Community College 11400 Robinwood Drive Hagerstown, Md.

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 17, 7 P.M. Milton Memorial Park Union and Chandler streets Milton, Del.

SUNDAY, AUG. 21, 7:30 P.M. Bethany Beach Bandstand 99 Garfield Parkway Bethany Beach, Del.

THURSDAY, AUG. 25, 7 P.M. O’Donnell Lake 10400 O’Donnell Place Waldorf, Md.


THURSDAY, AUG. 18, 5:30 P.M.

Fairfax County Government Center 12000 Government Center Parkway Fairfax, Va.

SATURDAY, AUG. 20, 7:45 P.M. Caroline County Summerfest 109 Market St. Denton, Md.

THURSDAY, AUG. 25, 7 P.M. Joint Services Concert Carter Barron Amphitheater 4850 Colorado Ave. N.W. Washington, D.C.


SUNDAY, AUG. 14, 7 P.M. Shafer Park Shafer Park Drive Boonsboro, Md.


FRIDAY, AUG. 5, 6:30 P.M. Town of Vienna 144 Maple Ave. E. Vienna, Va.

COUNTRY CURRENT NATIONAL TOUR Country Current departs Aug. 23 on a 14-day tour through Washington, Idaho, and Utah. The following is a list of tour performances.

TUESDAY, AUG. 23, 7 P.M. Utah Cultural Celebration Center Amphitheater 1355 West 3100 South West Valley City, Utah

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 24, 6:30 P.M. Box Elder County Fair 320 North 1000 West Tremonton, Utah

THURSDAY, AUG. 25, 7:30 P.M.

Estacada Middle School 500 N.E. Main St. Estacada, Ore. Columbia Theater 1231 Vandercook Way Longview, Wash.

THURSDAY, SEP. 1, 6:30 P.M. Patriots Landing 1600 Marshall Circle Dupont, Wash.

FRIDAY, SEP. 2, 6:30 P.M.

Everett Performing Arts Center 2710 Wetmore Ave. Everett, Wash.

SUNDAY, SEP. 4, 3 P.M.

Leavenworth Festhalle Civic Center 1001 Front St. Leavenworth, Wash.

MONDAY, SEP. 5, 2 P.M. River Front Park Pig Out in the Park Spokane, Wash.

CRUISERS NATIONAL TOUR The Cruisers depart Aug. 13 on a 14-day tour through California and Arizona. The following is a list of tour performances.

College of Southern Idaho Fine Arts Auditorium 315 Falls Ave. Twin Falls, Idaho


FRIDAY, AUG. 26, 5 P.M.

SUNDAY, AUG. 14, 2 P.M.


MONDAY, AUG. 15, 7 P.M.

SUNDAY, AUG. 28, 6 P.M.

TUESDAY, AUG. 16, 7 P.M.

Western Idaho Fair 5610 Glenwood Boise, Idaho

Morrison Center 2201 Cesar Chaves Lane Boise, Idaho

Maryhill Winery Amphitheater 9774 Hwy 14 Goldendale, Wash.

Palm Ridge Recreation Center 13800 W. Deer Valley Drive Sun City West, Ariz. Chandler Center for the Arts 250 North Arizona Ave. Chandler, Ariz. Vista Grande High School 1556 N. Arizola Road Casa Grande, Ariz.

Sahuarita District Auditorium 350 West Sahuarita Road Sahuarita, Ariz.

Continued on page 8


Fantastic performance at Mclean’s Alden Theater on Friday, April 2nd. Even my teenager loved it, no joke. I think we can probably pack that hall any time for you guys. – Chris , via Facebook


Schedule continued...

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 17, 7 P.M. Yavapai College Performance Hall 1100 E. Sheldon St. Prescott, Ariz.

FRIDAY, AUG. 19, 7 P.M. Sinagua Middle School 3950 East Butler Ave. Flagstaff, Ariz.

SATURDAY, AUG. 20, 7 P.M. Metcalfe Park 315 W Beale St. Kingman, Ariz.

SUNDAY, AUG. 21, 4 P.M.


MONDAY, AUG. 22, 6 P.M.

FRIDAY, AUG. 26, 6 P.M.

Barstow Community College 2700 Barstow Road Barstow, Calif. Downtown Disney 1580 S. Disneyland Drive Anaheim, Calif.


Huntington Beach Bandshell 7111 Talbert Ave. Huntington Beach, Calif. Santa Barbara Courthouse Sunken Garden 1100 Anacapa St. Santa Barbara, Calif.

USS Iowa 250 S. Harbor Blvd. (berth 87) San Pedro, Calif.

It’s time to head west!


by Musician 1st Class Sarah Blecker

ach year our five performance ensembles embark on multi-week tours of the country, visiting various regions on a rotational basis with the other service bands stationed here in Washington. This August the Cruisers popular music ensemble and Country Current country-bluegrass ensemble will head west for their annual tours with the Commodores jazz ensemble following suit in October. The Cruisers are the first to depart and will begin their tour Aug. 13 in Sun City, Arizona, before traveling through the rest of Arizona and into California, ending Aug. 26 in Santa Barbara, Advanced to Master Chief Petty Officer MUCM Matt Neff MUCM Chris Raifsnider

Advanced to Senior Chief Petty Officer MUCS Melissa Bishop MUCS Stephen Hassay MUCS Greta Loggins MUCS Andrew Oppenheim MUCS John Parsons


California. Country Current will begin their tour Aug. 23 in West Valley City, Utah, and make their way through Idaho, Oregon and Washington with a final tour stop Sept. 5 in Spokane, Washington. The Commodores tour will take place Oct. 23 through Nov. 12. Locations are still being determined, but stay tuned for more information! For a complete listing of tour stops, see the performance schedule on page seven. For more detailed concert information and how to acquire your free tickets visit us on our website at www. ff

2016 Summer Concert Series

Mondays, 8 p.m. U.S. Capitol West Steps JULY 11 - Commodores 18 - Commodores 25 - Concert Band AUGUST 1 - Concert Band 8 - Concert Band 15 - Concert Band 22 - Concert Band 29 - Concert Band

Tuesdays, 7:30 p.m. U.S. Navy Memorial

JULY 5 - Commodores 12 - Country Current 19 - Concert on the Avenue 26 - Concert on the Avenue AUGUST 2 - Concert on the Avenue 9 - Concert Band 16 - Concert Band 23 - Concert Band 30 - Concert Band

My wife and I enjoyed the Country Current music show in Rockville this afternoon very much. Thank you, and keep up the good work. You are appreciated more than you know. – Mark, via Facebook


Musician 2nd Class Julius La Rosa 1930-2016


ormer Musician 2nd Class Julius La Rosa passed away May 12 in Crivitz, Wisconsin. After graduating high school in 1947, he enlisted in the Navy as a radioman. While stationed in Pensacola, Florida, La Rosa was discovered by the famous television host, Arthur Godfrey, who was a Navy Reserve officer. Godfrey was impressed with La Rosa’s talent and invited him to appear on The Arthur Godfrey show, where he was promised a job after his time in the Navy. Sometime soon after, in 1950, La Rosa reported to the Navy Band as a musician second class and served as a vocalist for the remaining year of his enlistment contract, singing with the Concert Band and appearing as a regular soloist on the Navy Hour radio broadcast. While his time in Washington was short, he is perhaps best known to the Navy Band for his collaborations in the years that followed. Following his Navy career La Rosa reached national acclaim for his performances on Arthur Godfrey’s television show and later with Perry Como and Ed Sullivan. His talent crossed multiple mediums from daytime television to musical stage productions, film, nightclubs and disc jockeying. But throughout this storied career La Rosa always found time to come back to the Navy and the Navy Band. He appeared as a guest soloist at the Navy Relief Ball in 1953 held in the historic Sail Loft, and in 1975 helped the band celebrate its 50th anniversary in concert at DAR Constitution Hall. In 1976 he recorded the album “Sing Noel” with the Navy Band and appeared on the holiday concert that same year. La Rosa’s contributions to the band have continued to the present day, as he donated his entire

music collection to the band last year, a gift for which we are most grateful. La Rosa is survived by his wife Rosemary and daughter Maria La Rosa Smith.

Chief Musician Eduardo Buan 1933-2015


etired Chief Musician Eduardo Buan passed away in late 2015 in San Diego. Born in the Philippines, Buan started playing the trombone at age 12. After college he joined the Navy in 1956 at U.S. Naval Station Sangley Point, the Philippines. His assignments following recruit training in San Diego include tours of duty with the Commander Cruiser Destroyer Pacific Fleet Band, the U.S. Pacific Fleet and the Marianas Band. He also served as leader of Unit Band 145 and the Guantanamo Bay Band. After 21 years of service around the fleet, Buan reported for duty at the U.S. Navy Band in July 1977 where he performed with the Ceremonial Band until his retirement in 1983.


My wife and I attended the April 2nd performance of the Sea Chanters at Lackawanna College, Scranton, PA. We just wanted to say OUTSTANDING! The Sea Chanters are an excellent representation of the men and women of our Navy. Keep up the great work. – Gus, Scranton, Pa.


Navy celebrates the 74th anniversary of the Battle of Midway

U.S. Navy Sailors create a ‘sea of white’ to greet visitors to the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C., during the 74th commemoration anniversary of the Battle of Midway. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Clifford L. H. Davis/Released)

On June 3, the Navy Band participated in an annual wreathlaying ceremony at the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C., to commemorate the 74th anniversary of the Battle of Midway. This tradition dates back to 2000 when, on the 58th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, the Navy inaugurated annual activities honoring the most decisive sea battle in world history, which changed the course of the second world war. Then Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jay Johnson stated, “Midway was won, not by superior numbers or daunting technology, but by the courage and tenacity of the sailors who fought a vicious air and sea battle against overwhelming odds. Their victory helped win us the world we have today.” Be sure to join us next year as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway and pause to reflect on the significance of the turning point that preserved our nation’s freedom. ff

Lollipops continued...

from disappointed fans who said their families often planned their summer vacations around the date of the concert. Today our musical outreach continues through our family-friendly summer production

Left to right, Jim Richards, Chuck Yates, Heidi McGeorge and Tom Van Vranken during a Rainbow Magic Lollipops Concert dress rehearsal (U.S. Navy file photo/ released)

known as the Concert on the Avenue which takes place on many Tuesday nights at 7:30 p.m. at the Navy Memorial. If you would like to share your memories of the Lollipops Concerts, please email us at navyband. To see more photographs from these performances, please visit us on flickr. ff A Kena Temple clown distributes lollipops to children at the U.S. Navy Band’s children’s Lollipops Concert. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Musician Heidi Hunter/ released)


outstanding performance by the sea chanters this evening. As a navy veteran, they certainly renewed my pride for the greatest navy on earth, well done to all the performers, amazing talent, thank you! – Theresa, Oil City, Pa.


Spotlight on... Lt. Cmdr. Mark Corbliss by Musician 1st Class Sarah Blecker

Following 12 years as an enlisted musician, Lt. Cmdr. Mark Corbliss was commissioned as an officer. His tours of duty include executive officer at the Naval School of Music, training support officer and support officer at Navy Band Fleet Support Unit, and director of Navy Band Southwest, Navy Band Southeast and U.S. Fleet Forces Band. Corbliss recently joined the Navy Band as our new executive officer. Tell us a little about your musical background. I received my Bachelor of Science in music education from Frostburg State College. I studied French horn and voice. It was there that I was first exposed to Navy music via a Commodores performance. Following graduation I spent five years as a music educator in Maryland and West Virginia. I decided to audition for a service band after one of my college buddies who had joined the Army Music Program told me, “I get to play every day.” I auditioned right here in the Sail Loft and started my naval career in July 1990. Throughout my enlisted career as a French horn instrumentalist, I have been tasked with several peripheral duties that helped me understand Navy music as a whole. They included running big bands, solo vocal anthem gigs and, the most challenging, running a rock band. All of it was rewarding if a bit stressful. What are some highlights from your Navy career thus far? I’ve had a really great time so far no matter where I have worked. Traveling through the Pacific when I was stationed in Hawaii was very exciting for me. I always enjoyed playing the colors ceremony at the Arizona Memorial and watching the Pearl Harbor survivors stand just a little taller when we would start the national anthem. Conducting a band across from the Commander in Chief on a basketball court and ‘arena’ that was constructed on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier was unique and very memorable. The live and real-time “Prairie Home Companion” performance was also a great deal of fun and, according to my Mom, one of my most important gigs.

How have your experiences in the fleet prepared you for your job here at the Navy Band? I hope they have prepared me well. We shall see. I have found the Navy Band approach to operations extremely LCDR Mark Corbliss dynamic and very well streamlined. I think fleet bands could definitely benefit from our touring paradigm here. I feel that dealing with the large and small ensemble challenges as a fleet bandmaster gives me a very useful perspective on challenges that may present themselves here. I can say without reservation that each and every day, our Sailors are making exceptional and amazing things happen musically out in the fleet and that I also feel incredibly fortunate and continually inspired to be immersed daily in the impeccable music happening here at the Navy Yard. What a great place to come to work. What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? I enjoy spending time with my wife and six children in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where they will live for the remainder of my Navy career. I do the occasional triathlon, enjoy riding my motorcycle (when it is running), spend a good bit of time cooking, gardening and doing home improvement projects. My house is old so it should keep me busy well past retirement. ff Senior Enlisted of the Quarter Jan-Mar 2016 MUC Jennifer Krupa

Sailor of the Quarter Jan-Mar 2016 MU1 Dana Booher


I just wanted to let you how impressed we were. The performance of the band and soloists was truly outstanding and we loved the diverse selection of music. Thank you for making the opportunity to enjoy first-rate music available free of charge to our community; we really enjoyed it and look forward to future performances – Edina, Bridgeport, Conn.





of the navy



Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal Meritorious Service Medal MUCM Aaron Porter

Fair winds and following seas to... MUCM Aaron Porter who retires after 30 years of active service in the Navy.


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

MUCS Pete Czekaj MUC Jennifer Krupa MUC Greta Loggins MU1 Amanda Cline MU1 Nick Cooper

Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal MU1 Daniel Geldert MU1 Justin Cody

Fair winds and following seas to... MUCS

Fair winds and following seas to... MU1 Nick Cooper

Pete Czekaj who retires after 26 years of active service in the Navy.

who retires after 20 years of active service in the Navy.

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Fanfare (July/August 2016)  
Fanfare (July/August 2016)  

Battle of Midway; A history of the Lollipops Concerts; Country Current and Cruisers tours; Spotlight on Mark Corbliss