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July/August 2014 w Volume 35 Number 4

Drum Major Retires 14th High School Concerto Competition Spotlight on MUCS Juan Vazquez

A Message from the Commanding Officer


his is my fifth summer at the Navy Band, and I’m never quite prepared for the level of activity you see here every day. With 31 public concerts in June, 24 in July and 35 in August, plus a high number of ceremonies, there is never a slow day. Trucks are coming and going from our loading dock, musicians are in and out with uniforms and instruments in hand, and our support staff is humming along, making sure that everything goes the way it should. Barely a day passes that there isn’t a unit somewhere, sharing our great Navy with the American public. There are several big changes in Navy music that I’d like you know about. You may have heard that we’ve been forced to shut down two of our fleet bands, Navy Band Mid-South and Navy Band New Orleans. Additionally, the Naval Academy Band is being reduced from 50 to 34 members as we assume their mission and supplement their band when needed. Finally, all Navy bands will be realigned as field activities of the U.S. Navy Band. While these are big changes, I feel that they were necessary to preserve jobs and preserve the quality that you’ve come to expect from Navy bands everywhere. Finally, I’d like to congratulate Master Chief Musician Phil Burlin and Senior Chief Musicians Ruth Keehner, Suzanne Tiedeman and Stacy Loggins on their recent promotions. One of the best things about my job is seeing Sailors being recognized for the great work they do each and every day. Between the four of them, they represent 74 years of dedicated service to our Navy Band, our Navy and our nation. I couldn’t be more proud!

fanfare Volume 35 Number 4

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 MU1 Sarah F. Blecker

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

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

Layout and Design MUC Stephen W. Hassay MU1 Adrienne W. Moore fanfare is a bi-monthly magazine published by the U.S. Navy Band public affairs staff. Front Cover: 071001-N-0773H-034 FT. MYER, VA (October 1, 2007) The United States Navy Ceremonial Band, under the direction of Drum Major, Master Chief Musician Joe Brown, Jr., stands at attention as smoke from the gun salute for Marine Gen. Peter Pace drifts past in the background on Summerall Field. Pace was relieved by Navy Adm. Michael G. Mullen, who became the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (U.S.Navy Photo by Chief Musician Stephen Hassay/Released)



On this beautiful evening in Round Rock, Texas I had the wonderful opportunity to hear the Navy Band Cruisers. What can I say......WOW!!!!! Such a talented, gifted, personable, entertaining, and inspiring group of people!! I brought my dad with me who is an eighty-seven year old WWII Navy Veteran. He truly enjoyed the entire concert, but the smile on his face and pride in his heart were priceless as the Cruisers performed their final set of patriotic songs. Lora – Round Rock, Texas

Master Chief Joe Brown retires By Master Chief Musician Aaron Porter


his fall, Master Chief Musician Joe Brown retires after 30 years of service, a significant accomplishment for anyone in the military. Brown’s career has not been typical, however. He is retiring as the Navy Band’s head drum major, a position of significant leadership and importance. Over the last seven years he has led the band at some of the most memorable public ceremonies and at Arlington National Cemetery for hundreds of funerals, often very private events intended for close family and friends. For centuries, music has played a central role in the military throughout the world. Drummers and buglers were responsible for relaying vital communications to the troops for changes in maneuvers. For any hope of success during the confusion of battle, these signals had to be relayed accurately and without hesitation, a job that fell to the “Sergeant Major of the Drums,” as it was referred to long ago. Drum majors today fulfill a largely ceremonial role, but one no less important, especially in the National Capital Region, where pomp and circumstance play a large part in diplomacy and international relations. Everyone, from the rank and file to the highest dignitary present, depends on the drum major to have their ceremony down “cold.” Brown began his military career in 1984 at the Naval Academy Band in Annapolis, Maryland, as a euphonium instrumentalist. In June 1986, he successfully auditioned for the Navy Band, with the ambition of becoming the Concert Band’s euphonium soloist. As it turned out, he joined the Navy Band at exactly the same time as retired Master Chief Musician Roger Behrend, who was hired for that position, effectively ending any chance Brown had for that job. Master Chief Musician Joe Brown at a Brown had already been staging point during the 2013 presidential inauguration in Washington. approached by the drum (U.S. Navy Photo by Chief Musician major at the time, Senior Stephen Hassay/Released)

Master Chief Musician Joe Brown, left, salutes during a change of command ceremony at Admiral Lutze Park on the Washington Navy Yard in Washington. (U.S. Navy Photo by Chief Musician Stephen Hassay/Released)

Chief Musician Jeff Myers, to consider becoming an assistant drum major. He set his mind early on that he would aim for the top, the head drum major position. “That was always my goal. If you don’t aim for the top, you’re never going to get there.” True to this ambition, Brown took over as head drum major when Myers retired in 2007. When asked what the toughest part of his job is, Brown says, “I really don’t see that the job is hard. It’s something that I really, really enjoy, and I think that if you enjoy your job, you never work. It’s something I enjoy doing every day. If there is a difficult part, it’s the balance of being the authority with being the diplomat, and getting people to follow. When you lead people, you’re more effective when they want to be led...I would always rather have people want to be led, than be forced to follow.” The toughest job without question, Brown says, is a White House arrival ceremony. “There is a sense of urgency that we do it absolutely perfectly. That’s why the White House is so difficult...we have to operate in that zero-defect environment.” One of Brown’s most memorable jobs occurred just after the breakup of the Soviet Union. A high-ranking military official of one of the former Soviet republics was being welcomed in an arrival ceremony at the Pentagon. The dignitaries from this newly independent country arrived in uniform and stood proudly to hear their new national anthem. Brown says, “You could tell these were brand-new uniforms, and this was probably the first time they’d ever publicly worn them. We started playing their national anthem, and they visibly puffed up (with pride), and they were just bawling, every one of them, tears Continued on page 6


I just wanted to write and congratulate the Cruisers for an incredible performance in Addison Saturday night. The Cruisers are an incredible group of musicians and vocalists and I hope I have the opportunity to see them perform again. Addison was rocking Saturday evening and the patriotic medley was an inspirational way to end a perfect evening. Keep up the great work! John – Addison, Texas


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:




A Capitol Fourth with the National Symphony Orchestra U.S. Capitol Washington, D.C.


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


THURSDAY, JULY 3, 7 P.M. Rock Hall 4th of July 21144 Green Lane Rock Hall, Md.


Black Rock Center for the Arts 12901 Town Commons Drive Germantown, Md.


Belmont Bay Marina Pavilion 570 Harborside St. Woodbridge, Va.

TUESDAY, JULY 15, 7 P.M. Annapolis City Dock Annapolis, Md.

SUNDAY, JULY 20, 6:30 P.M. Vienna Town Green 144 Maple Ave. E. Vienna, Va.

COUNTRY CURRENT SUNDAY, JULY 6, 6:30 P.M. Bellevue State Park 800 Carr Road Wilmington, Del.

SATURDAY, JULY 12, 6 P.M. National Harbor 165 Waterfront St. National Harbor, Md.

THURSDAY, JULY 17, 7 P.M. Harris Pavilion 9201 Center St. Manassas, Va.

SATURDAY, JULY 19, 4 P.M. Virginia Gateway Linton Hall Road Gainesville, Va.

FRIDAY, JULY 25, 7 P.M. Shafer Park Boonsboro, Md.


THURSDAY, JULY 24, 7 P.M. War Memorial Park N. Tennessee Ave. Martinsburg, W. Va.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 30, 7 P.M. Springettsbury Township Park Amphitheater 1501 Mt. Zion Road York, Pa.



TUESDAY, AUG. 5, 7 P.M. Annapolis City Dock Annapolis, Md.

CEREMONIAL BAND SATURDAY, AUG. 2, 6 P.M. Ft. McHenry Tattoo 2400 East Fort Ave. Baltimore, Md.

Upcoming Special Concerts NAVY BAND


Navy Band at the Sylvan Theater (Washington Monument grounds)


MONDAY, AUG. 4, 7:30 P.M. Navy Band Alumni Concert U.S. Navy Memorial 701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW


SUNDAY, AUG. 10, 6 P.M.

South Valley Park 18850 Montgomery Village Ave. Montgomery Village, Md.

THURSDAY, AUG. 21, 7 P.M. Harris Pavilion 9201 Center St. Manassas, Va.

THURSDAY, AUG. 28, 5:30 P.M.

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


THURSDAY, AUG. 14, 7:30 P.M. National Museum of the Marine Corps 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway Triangle, Va.

SATURDAY, AUG. 16, 7:45 P.M. Caroline Summerfest 403 S. 7th St. Denton, Md.

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My family and I saw Country Current (for the first time) on May 31 at Belle Isle Park and they were fabulous! So fun and they really connected with the audience. And their performance - they are super musicians with fine singing voices. Can’t wait to hear them again! Michele – Lancaster, Virginia

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 20, 7:30 P.M. Lee District Park 6601 Telegraph Road Alexandria, Va.


SUNDAY, AUG. 3, 4 P.M.

SATURDAY, AUG. 23, 7:30 P.M. Bladensburg Waterfront Park 4901 Annapolis Road Bladensburg, Md.

SUNDAY, AUG. 31, 10 A.M. Alexandria 1812 Celebration Waterfront Park Alexandria, Va.


THURSDAY, AUG. 14, 7:30 P.M. Glen Echo Park Bumper Car Pavilion Glen Echo, Md. BLUEGRASS GROUP

Byrd Park 418 Ball Park Road Snow Hill, Md.

THURSDAY, AUG. 7, 7 P.M. Chambersburg Park Memorial Bandshell 1 Memorial Drive Chambersburg, Pa.

American History Museum 14th St. and Constitution Ave. NW Washington, D.C.

FRIDAY, AUG. 22, 5:30 P.M. Bethany Beach Bandstand 90 Garfield Parkway Bethany Beach, Del.

MONDAY, AUG. 25, 6 P.M.

Quiet Waters Park 600 Quiet Waters Park Road Annapolis, Md.


SATURDAY, AUG. 16, 7 P.M. Avalon Foundation 40 East Dover St. Easton, Md.

THURSDAY, AUG. 21, 6 P.M. Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Washington, D.C.

Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Washington, D.C.


FRIDAY, AUG. 29, 6:15 P.M.

THURSDAY, AUG. 28, 7:30 P.M.

Hagerstown Community College 11400 Robinwood Drive Hagerstown, Md.

Chief of the Quarter Oct. - Dec. 2013 Chief Musician Eric Lopez Sailor of the Quarter Oct. - Dec. 2013 Musician 1st Class Eric Brown


Milton Memorial Park Union and Chandler streets Milton, Del.

THURSDAY, AUG. 21, 12:30 P.M.

Congratulations to...

Leesylvania State Park 2001 Daniel Ludwig Drive Woodbridge, Va. Glen Echo Park Bumper Car Pavilion Glen Echo, Md.

Chief of the Quarter Jan. - Feb. 2014 Chief Musician Courtney Williams Sailor of the Quarter Jan. - Feb. 2014 Musician 1st Class Jason Ayoub Bluejacket of the Quarter Navy Band Southwest Oct. - Dec. 2013 Musician 1st Class Maia Rodriguez

Country Current Touring!

Mark your calendars. Country Current will begin touring Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas starting on Sept. 14. Come out and see the Navy Band on the road!



July 7, 14, 21, 28, Aug. 11, 18, 25,


Country Current Country Current Country Current Concert Band Concert Band Concert Band Concert Band

1, Commodores 8, Commodores 22, Concert on the Avenue 29, Concert on the Avenue

Aug. 12, Concert on the Avenue 19, Concert on the Avenue 26, Concert Band


July 22, Commodores Aug. 5, Sea Chanters 12, Commodores 19, Commodores 26, Cruisers


We all really enjoyed your concert!! We brought my Mom who is 89 and she was rocking in her seat and singing along to many of the songs you played. Gloria – Baltimore, Maryland


Joe Brown continued... streaming down their faces as they heard the band play their anthem. It was very moving.” After 30 years of service to the Navy and the nation, Brown will soon pass the job on to Senior Chief Musician Mike Bayes. Bayes became an assistant drum major in September 2001; some of his first jobs were funerals at Arlington for victims of the terrorist attack on the Pentagon. He has gained the entire command’s confidence in his ability to be the band’s and the

Navy’s ceremonial expert. “It’s an incredible honor,” Bayes said about the appointment. Being a permanent drum major is unique in the Navy. “It’s humbling that I’ve been placed in a position that’s’s one of four or five jobs (of its kind) in the country. People appreciate that we represent the Navy in such fine fashion, and I feel a great responsibility to do that. I really feel privileged to be able to do this job,” he said. ff

Navy Band High School Concerto Competition


by Chief Musician Cynthia Wolverton

This talented young musician has won many national ne of the most rewarding aspects of being a competitions and recently performed on the PBS show member of the U.S. Navy Band is getting to “From the Top” with Christopher O’ Riley. Olivia was encourage and inspire young musicians. Our also the second place winner in the 2012 annual Concerto Competition, in which Navy Band Concerto Competition and we high school students compete for the were delighted she returned this year. She opportunity to perform a solo with the described her experience auditioning for band, is always a highlight of our concert the committee: “Everyone was so friendly season. Now in its 14th year, the comand welcoming. I was able to play my petition this time was fiercer than ever. best because I felt so comfortable.” On Dozens of recordings were received from Saturday, May 17, Olivia performed high school students all over the country, even as far away as California. From these “Fantasie” by Gabriel Fauré with the band on a concert at Wakefield High entries, eight semi-finalists were chosen to School in Arlington, Virginia. She played travel to Washington for a live audition. from memory with brilliant technique, From there a panel of judges (members of the Navy Band) had the difficult decision Olivia Staton, front, winner of the 14th Annual beautiful sound and poise beyond her years. I think she inspired us more than of choosing a winner. U.S. Navy Band High School Concerto Competition, solos in front of the band during we inspired her! Stanton plans to attend After much deliberation, flutist Olivia an evening concert at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. (U.S. Navy Photo by the prestigious Juilliard School in the fall, Staton was awarded first place. Stanton Chief Musician Brian Bowman/Released) where she will study flute performance. is a senior at James Madison High School Her goal is to one day play in a symphony orchestra or in nearby Vienna, Virginia. She has been playing flute a military band. We would be thrilled if she ended up for seven years and studies with Aaron Goldman, principal flutist of the National Symphony Orchestra. right here at the U.S. Navy Band! ff Advanced to Master Chief Petty Officer MUCM Phil Burlin

Advanced to Senior Chief Petty Officer MUCS Ruth Keehner MUCS Stacy Loggins MUCS Sue Tiedeman



Welcome aboard to...

MUCM James Ramsey, administration for Echelon II Staff... MU1 Sarah Blecker, public affairs for Navy Band Staff...MU1 Zachary Hollister, bass trombone and MU1 Nathaniel E. Willson, French horn instrumentalist with the Concert/ Ceremonial Band...and to MU1 Kevin McDonald, drummer with the Commodores.

We wish fair winds and following seas to Lt. Cmdr J. Walt Cline, who retired in May after 26 years of service. He enlisted in 1988 as a trombone instrumentalist at Navy Band Memphis, and served in several fleet bands before being commissioned in 2001 as a bandmaster. Cline reported as executive officer of the U.S. Navy Band in 2011.

Saw the United States Navy Band last night. Truly amazing. Played everything from Patsy Cline to Earth, Wind and Fire to Styx to Pharrell Williams and nailed it every time. Should you ever have the chance to see them, take it. Not only do they serve our country but they make incredible music as well. Steve – Facebook

Spotlight on...Senior Chief Musician Juan Vazquez by Chief Musician Cynthia Wolverton

Readers of Fanfare have enjoyed the “Spotlight” column for almost 20 years now. The driving force behind these feature interviews is Senior Chief Musician Juan Vazquez. He will soon be retiring after serving 26 years as percussionist in the Concert/ Ceremonial Band. Tell us about your musical background. While out running errands one day, my mother informed me that I would be learning a musical instrument and told me to pick one. Not having any exposure to music other than AM radio, I pulled out my sister’s albums and looked at the musicians. The cover of the Beatles’ second album featured Ringo on a platform…so drums it was! In Baltimore there was only one music store that offered drum lessons and that was Yeager’s Music. Every Saturday I would take a lesson with Wayne Hudson who was the house drummer at the Club Venus. He would often give lessons in his tuxedo because he would go straight to the club after teaching. My high school did not have a music program so my exposure to music was through private lessons and playing with local bands. I then entered Essex Community College as a psychology major but also began studying percussion with Dale Rauschenberg. Dale was a terrific teacher who stressed fundamentals and discipline and I owe him a debt of gratitude. To pay for my tuition I played in clubs five to six nights a week. I soon switched my major to music performance and transferred to Towson State University. After graduating from Towson, I moved on to the Boston Conservatory to pursue a master’s degree, studying with Arthur Press. I also did a lot of freelancing in the Boston area, including the Springfield Symphony, Boston Civic Symphony and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Besides playing music, I worked a number of jobs to pay the bills. I vividly remember the hectic days of playing an afternoon happy hour, crossing the street and playing a concert with the Baltimore Symphony, driving across town to play at a club until 2 a.m. and finally delivering the New York Times from my car at daybreak. It was at this time I saw an ad for a percussion opening with the U. S. Navy Band. I did not know that the military even had bands!

I took the audition with 60 other hopefuls and came in second place. Weary of the hours I was putting into the music business and a little disheartened, I began to make other career plans. But two weeks later I received a call from the Navy Band. It turned out another percussionist was retiring; there was a spot for me after all! Senior Chief Musician Juan Vazquez What inspired you to start the Spotlight column? When I first joined the Navy Band I quickly realized that I was surrounded by some of the best musicians in the country. I felt so lucky and blessed. I often wondered what got them started in music. How did they find their gift and develop it to such a high standard? Since we rarely get an opportunity to share our backgrounds, I decided to start an in-house interview letter that would feature one person who had been in the band for a number of years and contrast their story with that of someone who was brand new to the organization. Capt. Joe Phillips, our leader at the time, was kind enough to be interviewed for the first issue. When the public affairs office started producing a newsletter, they decided to include my interviews. Spotlight has been a regular feature in Fanfare for almost 20 years! Can you share some highlights from your Navy Career? Every day I put on the uniform and am able to use my God-given talent to serve my country is an honor, but there have been a few stand-out moments. Following the 9/11 tragedy, the Concert Band was scheduled to tour the Midwest. There was talk of cancelling the tour, but our leader, Capt. Ralph Gambone, felt it was our duty to provide a musical presence at a time of national grief. The band and the audiences joined as one in creating a sense of community through music. I was also fortunate to be a part of the WWII Memorial dedication ceremony. Being able to pay tribute to the greatest generation and seeing many of them in their uniforms was an honor that I will cherish. Creating and performing with the Skipjack Quartet has also been very satisfying. Truly, every day, just playing with the guys in the percussion section makes me feel a sense of gratitude. They are so good Continued on page 8


Absolutely gorgeous rendition of #AmericaTheBeautiful during #MemorialDay commemoration @ArlingtonNatl #gavemechills @ usnavyband @njl145 - Twitter





of the navy



Spotlight continued...

and I feel very lucky to be able to play beside them. What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? My wife and I are both “empty nesters.” This allows us the time to do a lot of different things. We love to travel and bike. If we travel by car we take our bikes…if we fly we rent them. Our goal is to bike in each state and in Europe. We still have a long way to go! My wife is an amazing cook and we are continuing the family legacy of Spanish cooking, trying new and traditional dishes. Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal MU1 James Anderson, MU1 Tina Catalanotto, MU1 Joe Friedman, MU1 Pat Gulley, MU1 Kenny Ray Horton, MU1 Beth Revell, MU1 Tim Stanley, MU1 Scott Shepherd and MU1 Jim Swartz.


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

What do you plan to do when you retire? I like to think that this experience is another one on my list of many. I am now moving on to a new experience rather than stopping. We are all given gifts and it is our responsibility to recognize them, develop them, share them and then give back to others. I will be going back to school to pursue a degree in Spanish. My goal is to get into the community and help others recognize their potential. The ability to find your passion and share it is available to everyone, not just a select few. ff

Fair winds and following seas to... MUCS Luellyn Dollard, flute instrumentalist with the Concert band after 21 years of service...and to MU1 Kenny McLaughlin, sound engineer, after 20 years of service.

Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal MU1 Shana Sullivan, MUC Christian Johanson, MUC John Parsons, MUC Mike Curtis, MUC Ruth Keehner, MUC Jamie Way, MUCS Bob Couto, MUCS Laura Grantier, MUCS Dave Kolo and MUCS Matt Neff.

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Fanfare (July/August 2014)  
Fanfare (July/August 2014)  

Drum Major Joe Brown retires High School Concerto Competition Spotlight on Juan Vasquez