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March/April 2015 w Volume 36 Number 2

Concerto Competition is coming! From Floridia to the White House Spotlight on MU1(SW) Justin Cody

A Message from the Commanding Officer


his year has gotten off to another great start. Right now, both the Concert Band and Sea Chanters are touring the Southeast, traveling about 4,000 miles across six states. One of the most exciting parts of our job is touring, bringing the Navy to a new town every night. I often tell people that you’re going to walk away from our concerts thinking three things. First, you’ll be impressed and amazed by the talent and dedication of these musicians; they are able to do some incredible things. Second, you’re going to be entertained. I dare you to leave without a smile on your face. Finally, you’re going to leave feeling great about your country and your Navy. It gives me great joy to announce that our Sailor of the Year for 2014 is Musician 1st Class Brandon Almagro. To be named the top Sailor in a command full of gifted overachievers really says a lot about Almagro’s work and character. He has, in his 10 years here, served as a trumpet instrumentalist in the Concert/Ceremonial Band and Brass Quintet, as leading petty officer of the Ceremonial Band, stage crew manager for the Concert Band, as well as a number of other duties. My heartiest congratulations to Brandon! Believe it or not, we’ve scheduled nearly all of our summer concerts, and the various groups are already hard at work planning what they have in store for you. Make sure to check our website to see when the band is playing in your town.

fanfare Volume 36 Number 2

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

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

On March 4, 1925, President Calvin Coolidge signed the law formally establishing the United States Navy Band. This month will mark our 90th anniversary. The band has changed a lot in those 90 years, but the commitment to excellence and the dedication to representing our Sailors remains as strong as ever. We look forward to serving the people of this great country for another 90 years.

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: Olivia Staton, left, solos with the Navy Concert Band as Captain Brian O. Walden, commanding officer, right, conducts the band during the annual Navy Band High School Concerto Competition held at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Musician Brian Bowman/Released)


The band was in fine fettle and the varied program well-chosen. Involving some of the student musicians from the school band was a master stroke that connected the professional group even closer with the local community. --Woolf (Arlington, Virginia)


Concerto Competition is coming! by Musician 1st Class Josh Arvizu


hen one thinks about a U.S. Navy Band performance, probably the first things that come to mind are the vast ceremonial performances (patriotic openers, funerals, arrivals, etc.) or our public concerts. Many would be surprised at the number and scope of educational outreach programs we offer. One such program is the annual High School Concerto Competition. Each year since 2001, students submit high quality audio recordings for consideration in the preliminary round. The recordings are evaluated, and a select number of finalists are invited to the historic Washington Navy Yard to audition in person. From this group, the committee chooses a winner to perform their solo work with the Concert Band. Finalists will also be invited to prepare and perform an ensemble selection for the concert. The winner will receive The Ambassador Middendorf Young Artist Award of $1,000. In addition, the National Capital Council Navy League of the United States has generously donated awards of $250 and $150 for second and third prizes.

“Practicing just one piece intensely, like I had to, helped me learn to really focus and practice nuance,” said last year’s winner, Olivia Stanton, who is in her second semester at The Juilliard School, “It also gave me more confidence in working with a conductor to lead a rehearsal; which helped me learn to verbalize my musical ideas. It was an incredible experience!” While the Navy Band is pleased to motivate and reward young musicians, the Concerto Competition is often more than a platform for students seeking a future in music. While many past winners have gone on to pursue music professionally, some have pursued education and careers in fields as diverse as biology, physics and engineering. The Navy Band considers it a pleasure to work with and inspire talented and diverse young men and women. Please join us for this special concert at 8:15 p.m. on Friday, April 24 at Towson University in Towson, Maryland. ff

From Floridia to the White House by Paola Altomonte

Musician Giancarlo Bazzano is the only Italian in Obama’s band. The clarinetist performed at the inaugural ceremony for the president of the United States. “I’m proud to bring a piece of Sicily to the world.” Editor’s note: Musician 1st Class Giancarlo Bazzano, a clarinetist with the Concert Band, is originally from Floridia, a small town in Sicily, Italy. He was recently interviewed by La Sicilia newspaper. Below is a translation of that interview. He performed in the most recent inaugural ceremony for the president of the United

States, Barack Obama, and for a ceremony at which the president awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon. Giancarlo Bazzano, 37, originally from Floridia, is the only native Italian in the U.S. Navy Band, a group of about 170 members, and one of the presidential support bands that perform at the White

House. As part of this prestigious group, led by Capt. Brian O. Walden, Giancarlo and his clarinet have performed in many state

Continued on page 6


Fine concert tonight in Lorton. Thank you for serving!

--Artie (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:



The Concert Band departed Feb. 16 for its 2015 national tour through Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Following are a list of March tour dates.


Monday, March 2, 7 p.m. South Dade Senior High School


Sunday, March 8, 3 p.m. Jekyll Island Convention Center

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. Monday, March 9, 6:30 p.m. Rose Maree Meyers Theater for the Performing Arts


Wednesday, March 11, 7:30 p.m. Brunswick Community College Odell Williamson Auditorium


The Concert Band and Sea Chanters will join forces in Florida and South Carolina during their national tour. The following are the March combined dates.


Sunday, March 1, 7:30 p.m. Arts Park Amphitheater Band Shell





Tuesday, March 3, 7 p.m. Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center

Wednesday, March 4, 7 p.m. The Lakeland Center


Thursday, March 5, 7:30 p.m. Hernando High School Gymnasium


Saturday, March 7, 4 p.m. Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts


Tuesday, March 10, 7 p.m. The Ira & Nancy Koger Center for the Arts


The Sea Chanters departed Feb. 20 for their 2015 national tour through Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Following are a list of March tour dates.

Wednesday, March 11, 7:30 p.m. Oak Ridge Military Academy Bonner Field House Thursday, March 12, 7 p.m. Deep Run High School


THURSDAY, MARCH 26, 7 P.M. Wakefield High School 1325 S. Dinwiddie St. Arlington, Va.


SATURDAY, MARCH 7, 12:30 P.M. St. Patrick’s Day Parade Old Town Alexandria, Va.


FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 6 P.M. Colonial Forge High School 550 Courthouse Road Stafford, Va.




Calvert Library 850 Costley Way Prince Frederick, Md.



Monday, March 2, 7:30 p.m. Coral Springs Center for the Arts Sunday, March 8, 3 p.m. Flagler Auditorium


Monday, March 9, 7:30 p.m. University of Florida-Gainesville Phillips Center


FRIDAY, APRIL 3, 7:30 P.M.

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


As always, the band was in excellent form and the program was creative and interesting… Well done, Navy!


--Wesley (Facebook)


THURSDAY, APRIL 16, 7 P.M. Thomas Stone High School 3785 Leonardtown Road Waldorf, Md.

FRIDAY, MAY 8, 7:30 P.M.


Westlake High School 3300 Middletown Road Waldorf, Md.

St. Paul’s Rock Creek Church Rock Creek Church Road and Webster St. NW Washington, D.C.


SUNDAY, MAY 24, 8 P.M.


National Memorial Day Concert U.S. Capitol, West Lawn Washington, D.C.

FRIDAY, APRIL 24, 8:15 P.M. Towson University 8000 York Rd. Towson, Md.


THURSDAY, MAY 21, 7 P.M. O’Donnell Wharf Lake 10400 O’Donnell Place St. Charles, Md.


TUESDAY, APRIL 14, 7:30 P.M. Elizabeth City State University Jazz Festival 1704 Weeksville Road Elizabeth City, N.C.

SUNDAY, MAY 24, 4 P.M.

Fairfax Corner Plaza 11901 Grand Commons Ave. Fairfax, Va.

Notre Dame University of Maryland 4701 N. Charles St. Baltimore, Md.



Beth El Congregation of Baltimore 8101 Park Heights Ave. Baltimore, Md.

Bethany Beach Bandstand Bethany Beach, Del.




SATURDAY, MAY 23, 7:30 P.M.

Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal MU1 Jason Ayoub MU1 Giancarlo Bazzano MU1 Sarah Blecker MU1 Chris Buchanan MU1 Bill Dunn MU1 Caroline Evans MU1 James Hicks MU1 Zachary Hollister MU1 Todd Morrison MU1 Cory Parker MU1 Travis Siehndel MU1 Matt Stuver MU1 Tom Wheeler


FRIDAY, MAY 1, 7 P.M. Apple Blossom Festival Winchester, Va.

SUNDAY, MAY 17, 4 P.M.

The Promenade at Virginia Gateway 8001 Gateway Promenade Place Gainesville, Va.

Sailor of the Year 2014 MU1 Brandon Almagro Musician 1st Class Brandon Almagro was awarded Navy Band Sailor of the Year 2014 for his expert work as trumpet intrumentalist, ceremonial band leading petty officer, brass quintet musical director and concert band operations assistant.

Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal MUC Brian Bowman MUC Dawn Henry MU1 Brandon Almagro

Congratulations to... MU1 William Edwards, baritone vocalist with the Sea Chanters, who was selected as Navy Band Sailor of the Quarter, third quarter 2014. MUC Andrew Oppenheim, tuba instrumentalist with the Concert/Ceremonial Band, who was selected as Senior Enlisted of the Quarter, third quarter 2014.


.@usnavyband Great recital today at the Alexandria #Atheneum!

--@JohnSkudlarek (Twitter)


From Floridia to the White House continued... ceremonies at the president’s residence, among many I find myself playing in his presence the emotion is other locations. This dream became reality after years indescribable.” The president isn’t the only dignitary of study and rigorous work. he’s played for. “Often we play small chamber music “Ever since I was a child, I have dreamed of being concerts for the vice president or the secretary of defense.” a member of one of the Giancarlo also performs American military bands. I was fascinated with Sousa annually on national tour concerts and sometimes as a marches performed by the Floridia band during the soloist in the most renowned concert halls in the United town festivals.” That child, enchanted by the music States, from New York to Los Angeles. He also participates that paraded before his in much more somber and wondering eye, is today serious official functions. a talented clarinetist, a Musician 1st Class Giancarlo Bazzano, left, performs “An American in Paris” by George Gershwin during a Navy Band Music in the Schools “Our band,” adds Giancarlo, musician who performs at concert at Rock Ridge High School in Ashburn, Va. (U.S. Navy Photo by historic events at the center “is tasked with performing Chief Musician Brian Bowman/Released) funerals at Arlington National of the world’s attention. “I’ve Cemetery. I’ve played funerals for many of our Sailors seen President Obama in Washington,” Giancarlo who died in Afghanistan, Iraq and in other parts of says. “Unfortunately, out of respect for his office, the world.” ff we don’t have any way to talk to him. But every time

Retired Musician 1st Class David W. Dodge 1942-2015 The entire Navy music program mourns the passing of retired Musician 1st Class David W. Dodge of Augusta, Maine. Dodge graduated from Deering High School in Portland, Maine in 1960 and joined the Navy in 1962 as a trumpet player. After graduating from recruit training, Dodge reported to the Armed Forces School of Music and completed the basic music course. He performed with various fleet bands from 1963 to 1966, before reporting to the U.S. Navy Band in Washington as a member of the Concert Band. In

1969 he returned to the fleet, performing with the Navy Band in Boston and the North American Air Defense Band. In 1974, he returned to the Navy Band in Washington, where his versatility and musicianship made him a natural fit in both the Concert Band and the Commodores jazz ensemble. He retired from the Navy in 1984. He is survived by his wife, Marilyn, five children, five grandchildren and one great-grandson. ff

Retired Master Chief Musician James P. Hobbs 1943-2015 The entire Navy music program mourns the passing of retired Master Chief Musician James P. Hobbs, of Mount Dora, Florida. Hobbs was born in Atlanta and his family moved to Florida when he was 3 years old. He was a 1961 graduate of Eustis High School, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in music education at Florida State University in 1965 and a Bachelor of Arts in business administration management from the University Maryland in 1974. Hobbs enlisted in the Navy in 1966, and upon


completion of basic training attended the basic music course at the Armed Forces School of Music in Little Creek, Virginia. From there he served as a saxophonist with fleet bands in Norfolk, Virginia and Orlando, Florida. From 1970 to 1975 he served with the Naval Academy Band in Annapolis, Maryland, and finished his naval career as the operations chief at U.S. Navy Band, Washington. He retired in 1988. He is survived by his wife Alma, five children, 10 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. ff

Dang that concert from the @usnavyband was amazing tonight. Such a talented and professional group! Definitely a must see! @_mickey_s (Twitter)


Spotlight on... Musician 1st Class (SW) Justin Cody

Janeiro, performed in Bermuda and spent six months in the Pacific aboard USNS Mercy (T-AH 19).

by Chief Musician Cynthia Wolverton

Musician 1st Class (SW) Justin Cody plays piano and is the assistant musical director of the Navy Band Cruisers. He enlisted in the Navy in 2003 and served four years in the U.S. Fleet Forces Band before coming to Washington. In addition to playing keyboards, Cody is an operations assistant, a member of the productions team and manager of the band’s Google Plus page. For the past two years, he has also been the president of the National Capitol Region First Class Petty Officer Association. Tell us a little about your musical and military background. When I was seven years old, I asked my parents if I could take piano lessons, hoping that I wouldn’t have to listen to my sister play anymore. It worked! As soon as I started, I got all the practice time. I felt like a passion was ignited in my soul and I wanted to play constantly. By the time I got to high school, I was recording a CD, gigging regularly, and composing numerous piano works. I attended Interlochen Arts Academy’s summer program on a composition scholarship and studied with John Beall. I then continued my studies with Beall at West Virginia University where I also studied piano with James Miltenberger. It was here that I began playing with just about every ensemble in the area whether it was a jazz group, jam band, Latin group, or indie rock band. I was fortunate that at the end of my senior year, the Navy Show Band came to my college. Next thing I knew, I had a job playing music for people all over the world. I started my naval career with the Fleet Forces Band in Norfolk, Virginia. During my time there I was in the jazz band, rock band, show band, wind ensemble, and even played cymbals and bass drum for ceremonies and parades. In addition to going on recruiting tours around our area of responsibility, I participated in a UNITAS training exercise in Rio de

What was your deployment on the Mercy like? Pacific Partnership is an annual deployment to the Philippines and surrounding areas designed to build good will, provide MU1(SW) Justin Cody humanitarian assistance and strengthen diplomatic relations. I had the privilege of being a part of the first one in 2006. This was truly the most amazing experience I have ever had in my life. Most of our days were spent waking up at 5 a.m. to ride an inflatable boat to some remote island where the people possibly have never seen an American before. Once off the ship, we’d get a ride to the operational location, sometimes by tank and armed escorts. We’d play concerts for the schools, perform for the medical patients standing in line, and also help carry people in need of surgery back to the boats to get them to the ship. Because of the risk of food poisoning, MREs were the food of choice despite very good local hospitality. The days were long, but I have never felt a part of something so vital.   At one orphanage we played a concert for the children while medical staff painted their gym and Seabees fixed and built things.  It was so humbling and amazing; I am at a loss for words to describe the feeling of providing good will to people who actually need it.  Most of them barely had food to eat. I wasn’t even playing piano for most of the tour. I played tambourine, sang through a megaphone, and played a little accordion. It wasn’t about me or my musical skills. It was only about good will and spreading the Navy message to people that really needed it. Another highlight of the Continued on page 8


.@usnavyband Sea Chanters killed tonight! Yall rock! Thanks for your service!

--@jtmcfluffly (Twitter)




of the navy




Spotlight continued...

deployment occurred at a reception in East Timor. The country had recently gone through a political revolution so we were escorted to the embassy by tanks. Because they didn’t have access to band instruments, we were the first band ever to play their new national anthem.  It was an intensely emotional experience, as the people wept with joy. Could you share a few highlights of your time with the Navy Band? One of my favorite moments would have to be our trip to St. Thomas to perform in honor of Alton Adams, the first African-American Navy bandmaster. I’ll never forget playing the Virgin Islands March on solo piano for a crowd of around 300 people. Almost as soon as I started they all stood up and started singing along. I looked out and thought to myself, boy, I hope I don’t skip a verse! Another highlight


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

was performing Leroy Anderson’s classic Sleigh Ride with Musician 1st Class Daniel LaMaestra on the last holiday concert. It’s not very often I get to collaborate with such a talented pianist for a duet. Putting the piece together and practicing our interactions was a blast. We spent a good amount of time planning who was supposed to smile where and how our facial expressions could enhance the presentation. At the concert, it was a magical experience complete with moments of hushed silence, laughter and rousing applause. What do you do when you’re not working? I enjoy spending time with my family, lifting weights, training for triathlons, exploring photography, studying conducting, brewing beer, cooking and walking my dog. ff

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Fanfare (March/April 2015)  
Fanfare (March/April 2015)  

High School Concerto Competition; From Floridia, Italy to Washington, D.C.; Spotlight on Justin Cody