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March/April 2014 w Volume 35 Number 2

Spotlight on MU1 Shawn Purcell A Sailor at the Super Bowl

A Message from the Commanding Officer


he Concert Band just finished up a wonderful tour through seven states, covering more than 5,000 miles! The Sea Chanters will soon depart for a 20-day tour of their own. It’s great for us to be traveling around the country again, displaying the pride and professionalism that is a hallmark of our great Navy. Please check out the Sea Chanters’ tour schedule on pages four and five. Here in Washington, we’ve had a frigid start to 2014. Though we had one of the coldest Januaries on record, our Ceremonial Band continued the solemn work of honoring our fallen, as so aptly depicted by the photograph on the cover of this issue. You’ll read about Chief Musician Christian Johanson’s photograph and subsequent media coverage in this issue, but know that the band is out there every day fulfilling this sacred mission. On page four of this issue, you’ll see a photo of the band’s 2013 Sailor of the year, Musician 1st Class Shana Sullivan, along with a list of her accomplishments. That list tells only part of the story. In a command full of intelligent, high-achieving Sailors, the senior enlisted members of the awards board have a difficult job making a recommendation to me for Sailor of the year. It has to be someone whose accomplishments, leadership and expertise stands them head and shoulders above their peers. I can confidently say that Sullivan met all those requirements and then some. She is truly an exceptional petty officer, leader and Sailor. I look forward to working with her for many years to come.


Finally, I want to offer a big bravo zulu to the members of the Sea Chanters who represented the Navy at this year’s Super Bowl. They were on one of the world’s biggest stages and knocked it out of the park! It certainly is humbling to work with musicians and Sailors who can excel in any situation.

Volume 35 Number 2

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: Members of the United States Navy Ceremonial Guard and The United States Navy Ceremonial Band march along a funeral route as they participate in a full honors funeral during the Jan. 21 snowfall at Arlington National Cemetery. The Ceremonial Band performs music at official military, government and other special events. The group’s varied duties include arrival ceremonies at the White House and Pentagon, as well as changes of command, military retirement ceremonies and funerals at Arlington National Cemetery. (U.S. Navy Photo by MUC Christian Johanson/Released)

Country Current

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

Dear Navy Band, I have braids. Thank you for coming to Murch, my school. I really enjoyed it! I am 7 and my birthday is in January. -Elementary school student


Winter weather doesn’t stop the Navy Band by Master Chief Musician Aaron Porter

ARLINGTON, VA (January 21, 2014) Chief Musician Stan Curtis renders taps at a full honors funeral at Arlington National Cemetery during the Jan. 21 snowfall at Arlington National Cemetery. (U.S. Navy Photo by MUC Christian Johanson/Released)


ur cover photo of the Ceremonial Band taken on a funeral Jan. 21 at Arlington National Cemetery by Chief Musician Christian Johanson is so descriptive, it hardly needs a caption. Four elements tell the whole story: the band and Navy Ceremonial Guard marching through the cemetery with the flag blowing in the wind, gravestones in the background. The fourth element was snow, swirling across the scene. Anyone on the East Coast from Richmond, Va., to Portland, Maine, knows a snowstorm was just getting started that morning, with frigid temperatures and wind thrown in for good measure. Johanson, a French horn instrumentalist with the Concert/Ceremonial Band, who has done his share of bad-weather ceremonies and funerals, has taken on the project of documenting the band in all kinds of foul weather. Over the last few years, he’s had the opportunity to photograph the band partici-

pating in funerals at ANC in the snow and during the Mid-Atlantic’s infamously hot and humid summers. When asked about his commitment to document the Band’s performance at Arlington during all weather conditions throughout the year he said, “Unlike concerts and other ceremonies that are canceled or moved indoors in case of inclement weather, funerals happen no matter what type of weather occurs. Participating in funeral services is one of the primary missions of the band, and not many people ever get to witness one.” About his most memorable experience photographing funerals, Johanson said, “I was incredibly humbled and honored to be asked to photograph a full honors funeral a few years ago for a Sailor killed on active duty. It was a cold wintry day with snow on the Continued on page 6 ground. There were only

Concert Band

When our Navy does something it does it better than anyone else! You guys prove that to be true. -Kingsport, Tenn. concert band tour patron


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:



Sea Chanters

National Trumpet Competition Messiah College 1 College Ave. Mechanicsburg, Pa.

25th Anniversary America Sings National Mall

Friday, Mar. 21, 7:30 p.m.

Concert Band

Friday, Mar. 14, 7 p.m.

Patuxent High School 12485 Southern Connector Blvd. Lusby, Md.

Saturday, Mar. 22, 7:30 p.m.

Bowie Center for the Performing Arts 15200 Annapolis Road Bowie, Md.

Thursday, Mar. 27, 7:30 p.m.

Country Current Friday, Mar. 28, 8 p.m. Old Town Hall 3999 University Drive Fairfax, Va.

Chesapeake Arts Center 194 Hammonds Lane Brooklyn Park, Md.


Ceremonial Band

Towson University Towson, Md.

Concert Band

Saturday, Mar. 1, 12:30 p.m. St. Patrick’s Day Parade Old Town Alexandria, Va.

Sea Chanters

Sunday, Mar. 2, 4 p.m.

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

Friday, Apr. 25, 8:15 p.m.

Ceremonial Band Saturday, Apr. 12, 1 p.m. Blessing of the Fleet U.S. Navy Memorial 701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Washington, D.C.

Sailor of the Year 2013

Musician 1st Class Sullivan is recognized for her exemplary leadership as Cruisers leading petty officer, protocol soloist/leader, chair of Navy Marine Corps Relief Society silent auction, Cruisers operations petty officer, leader of “Women’s History in the Navy” programs, and as a soloist on the Concert Band national tour, Concerts on the Avenue and Navy holiday concerts.

Friday, Apr. 4, 6 p.m.

Washington, D.C.


Saturday, Apr. 26, 7 p.m. College of Notre Dame LeClerc Auditorium 4701 North Charles St. Baltimore, Md.

Clarinet quartet Saturday, Apr. 12, 3 p.m. Marilyn J. Praisner Library 14910 Old Columbia Pike Burtonsville, Md.

Sea Chanter 2014 Spring TOUR

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, 3 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

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

Ceremonial Band

@usnavyband @ArlingtonNatl thank you for your service.


-@stan_kelley, Twitter

WEDNESDAY, MAR. 12, 7:30 P.M.






Allen Theatre Lubbock, Texas

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, 3 p.m.

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

Trinity United Methodist Church Little Rock, Ark. 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.

The Paramount Center for the Arts Bristol, Tenn. Blacksburg High School Auditorium Blacksburg, Va.

FRIDAY, MAR. 28, 7 P.M.

Harrisonburg High School Harrisonburg, Va.

Looking ahead to May Concert Band

Thursday, May 1, 7 p.m. McLean High School 1633 Davidson Road McLean, Va.

Friday, May 9, 7:30 p.m. Herndon High School 700 Bennett St. Herndon Va.

Welcome aboard to...

Musician 1st Class Kevin McDonald, drummer with the Commodores.

A Sailor at the Super Bowl by Musician 1st Class Maia Rodriguez

On Sunday, Feb. 2, members of the Sea Chanters joined vocalists from the U.S. Army Band, U.S. Marine Band and U.S. Air Force Band, and opera star Renée Fleming to present our national anthem at the NFL Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Musician 1st Class Maia Rodriguez wrote about her experience at this event.


he Super Bowl is really a study in anthropology. It’s embedded in our culture. So many people all over the country and the world watch it, that I’ll admit I couldn’t wrap my mind around such a thing. So when people asked me, “Are you nervous?” I would simply answer, “No… not yet.” And knowing how it usually takes my mind a few days to catch up, by the time I DID get a chance to be nervous, I would be back in the comfort of my own home. On game day, each of us inspected and re-inspected our uniforms to make sure they were absolutely perfect. We boarded the bus at 1 p.m. and headed over. We had to go through trailers where they would

A CH-47 Chinook helicopter passes over the edge of the stadium during the Super Bowl flyover at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., Feb. 2, 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Capt. Christina Wright, 101st CAB Public Affairs)

thoroughly check our bags and make us walk through metal detectors. Once we completed our check, we boarded vans to head over to the stadium. It was while sitting in the van that some of us caught sight of Queen Latifah, about to begin her process of going through security. I think that’s when things started Continued on page 6

Sea Chanters

Awesome @usnavyband concert 2night! Grateful to all those serving our country & sacrificing 4us! God Bless You! Xo -@kaitlynmaher, Twitter


Weather continued...

two family members at the service but more than 300 Sailors in full dress uniform were there to support the family. It was very emotional. Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was there to honor the Sailor’s service and give his condolences to the family.” The band tweeted Johanson’s photo with a simple statement: “The weather doesn’t stop us from honoring a shipmate at @ArlingtonNatl,” but it was enough to get the attention of the staff at The Weather Channel. According to their website, it brought everything to a halt in the newsroom. They posted it on their website and Facebook page, where it quickly went “viral.” The next day, the band’s public affairs office got a call from Alan Raymond, a meteorologist at TWC, requesting more information about the photo and photographer and inquiring about the possibility of setting up a video interview with Johanson. An Internet connection was established in the Sail Loft for the band’s first-ever Skype interview, which can be seen at: com. The post generated hundreds of comments like, “Really awesome pic provided by The Weather Channel. This is one photo never to be forgotten,” and “This is something we should all take pride in.” For Johanson, these reactions are something of a vindication, because he started this project to illustrate a side of the job many people don’t see. Most Navy Band public performances take place in a comfortable

Master Chief Musician Joe Brown and members of The United States Navy Ceremonial Band march through Arlington National Cemetery as they participate in a full honors funeral during the Jan. 21 snowfall. (U.S. Navy Photo by MUC Christian Johanson/Released)

auditorium or on balmy summer nights on a town green, or at the Capitol or Navy Memorial. Funeral services are largely private functions, attended by family members, close friends and shipmates, and the band has to project a sense of pride and honor through the music and its demeanor, even in foul weather. The Navy serves all over the world, in fine or foul weather, to safeguard our interests. Likewise, the Navy Band takes pride in honoring our fallen shipmates in all conditions, whether they’re veterans, or those who have paid the “last full measure of devotion” on active duty. ff

Super Bowl continued... to become real for me. We got back to our “home base” room, hung up our uniforms, and began preparing. We steamed our uniforms, pulled out the lint rollers and donned our medals. Once we were ready, as a unit, we walked through the building and headed straight for the stadium tunnel. Now that we were in uniform, we were getting a lot of attention. Some people applauded as we passed. Some cheered and whooped for us. There was definitely a strong reaction from those in and around the stadium as their saw their military service members march by. A study in anthropology. Look at this game. Look how it brings people together. Look at the nervous excitement of Queen Latifah, Renée Fleming, and all the performers involved in it. Look at everyone’s


reactions when they hear you’re singing at it. Super Bowl Sunday could be a national holiday. For some people, it already is. We stepped out onto the field and after they introduced both teams, it was our turn to head to our spot on the 50-yard line. We placed ourselves and immediately stood at attention. The music began and we followed our conductor. And there was Renée, looking lovely, singing live and seemingly enjoying every minute of it. A packed stadium, sparkling with flashes looked back at us. Cameras filmed our every word. Photographers captured Renée with a military chorus behind her. And then, on “home of the brave,” they did their flyover and the crowd Continued on page 8 went wild. Silently we

@usnavyband Great, great concert yesterday night. You guys are amazing! Art, emotion, swing, art and kindness. Full package! -@Lentejitas, Twitter


Spotlight on...Musician 1st Class Shawn Purcell by Senior Chief Musician Juan Vazquez

Musician 1st Class Shawn Purcell is the newest addition to the Navy Band’s premier jazz ensemble, the Commodores. The guitarist brings a rich family history with him dating back to World War II. Tell us a little about yourself. I was born in Malcolm Grow Hospital at Andrews Air Force Base (now Joint Base Andrews) while my dad was a member of the Commodores! After his separation from the Navy, my family moved back to Pennsylvania and I grew up near downtown Pittsburgh. While my dad was a member of the Maynard Ferguson band in the 1970s, my mom and I “went on the road” for about eight months with the band. I was only four at the time, but was able to hear the band every night, and that is where my love of jazz began. I began Suzuki lessons at the age of three, and then started piano lessons at the age of five. I remember crying before piano lessons; now I wish I practiced more! I started playing professionally at the ripe old age of 16. I received my bachelor’s degree in sound recording technology from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. Upon graduation, I went on the road as the touring guitarist for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus from 1993 - 1995. Traveling with the circus was a true life experience, and the gig also afforded me free time to continue practicing. After leaving the circus I auditioned and won the Airmen of Note position with the United States Air Force Band. After spending nearly eight years in the Airmen of Note, my wife and I moved to Nashville, Tenn. While in Nashville I earned my master’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University where I also served a year as a member of the jazz faculty. I received my Doctor of Musical Arts in jazz studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2011. A highlight of my music career occurred while I was writing my dissertation; I was hired as a visiting lecturer of jazz studies at Indiana University under the direction of jazz education legend, David Baker. It was truly an honor to serve on the faculty of a university with such a strong jazz history.

Tell us about your new position as guitarist with the Commodores. I am truly honored to be a member of the Commodores! The band sounds great, and all of the members have made my transition as smooth as I could have hoped. While I enjoy playing in a traditional jazz style, I also love to utilize Musician 1st Class Shawn Purcell more modern guitar effects including distortion, wah-wah, and time based effects such as chorus, delay and pitch shifting. I think it is a really exciting time for the big band guitarist because more and more arrangers are writing specifically to showcase all of the sonic capabilities of the instrument. I grew up listening to hard rock and heavy metal, so I hope to bring some of that musical background to the Commodores repertoire. I never get bored playing in the band because of the diverse styles the Commodores perform! I am also starting to bring in some of my big band compositions and arrangements. As I get more familiar with each player, I hope to continue writing material that will illuminate the many talented musicians in the ensemble. Your family has a musical history with the Navy Band. Can you give us some background? My father, Randy Purcell, was the lead trombonist in the Commodores from 1969 - 1973. I don’t think he was an original member, but he auditioned and won the job several months after the Commodores became an official unit of the Navy Band. Although he only stayed for one enlistment, many of the members of the band during those years became professional music partners as well as lifelong friends. I still keep in touch with musicians such as Stan Mark and Mike Sheppard, who were original members. My grandfather, Jack Purcell, attended the Navy School of Music during World War II, but left the music world to accept a commission. He ended up serving as a communications officer aboard USS LST 598. My father passed away in 2009 Continued on page 8 and Jack just passed last

Country Current

To the Navy band, I am very grateful to you for playing for us.

-Elementary school student




of the navy




Super Bowl continued... turned and left the field. I instinctively knew that I wouldn’t be processing most of this until the photos went up on the Internet, or until I could see the video. It’s funny how, in this technological world, we need to see ourselves on screen to believe something actually happened. But I knew it was a good anthem. I knew that we’d completed

our mission. I wasn’t prepared for all the calls, Facebook and text messages that exploded on my phone immediately after. And this being only my second gig with the Sea Chanters, I joked with them that they’re setting the bar pretty high. Not bad for my first month with the Navy Band. ff

Spotlight continued... December. I am honored to continue their musical legacy with the Navy Band. What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? As far as hobbies, I am a closet gear geek! I enjoy collecting and tinkering with guitar gear of all kinds! Guitars, amps, effect devices - you name it, I want


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

to check it out. I’ve built and helped to build quite a few guitar amplifiers; I even built amps as a parttime job when living in Nashville. I feel a real sense of accomplishment when I look at a completed amplifier that was assembled from random electronic parts. Most of all, I enjoy spending time with my wife and our families. ff

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Fanfare (March/April 2014)  
Fanfare (March/April 2014)  

Spotlight on Shawn Purcell A Sailor at the Super Bowl Winter weather