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November/December 2015 w Volume 36 Number 6

Assumption Of Command Holiday Concerts Spotlight on CDR Ken Collins 38th International Saxophone Symposium Commodores On Tour

A Message from the Commanding Officer


everal weeks ago, we commemorated our Navy’s 240th birthday. We had groups participating in multiple events, but our largest performance was the annual birthday concert at the Music Center at Strathmore. It was a great event where we were able to celebrate our Navy’s history, as well as highlight the role our Navy Reserve plays in keeping our Navy strong, healthy and ready. Right now, the Commodores jazz ensemble is touring through seven states in the Midwest. Our tours are a great opportunity for us to reach out to areas that don’t normally see the Navy at work and a chance to tell Americans about the great work Sailors are doing every day all around the world. The group’s schedule is included in this issue; I hope you can make it out to one of the shows!

In December, we’ll be holding our annual holiday concerts at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington. It seems that this concert gets better and more popular every year. Tickets for last year’s Sunday matinee were distributed in one hour, and those for Saturday evening’s performance didn’t last much longer, being distributed in 24 hours. Meanwhile, the Commodores will be the featured jazz group at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago. The holidays tend to be one of our busiest times of the year, and 2015 won’t disappoint.

fanfare Volume 36 Number 6

Commanding Officer/Leader

Kenneth C. Collins, CDR, USN Commanding Officer/Leader

CDR Kenneth Collins

Public Affairs Chief MUCM Aaron L. Porter Editorial Staff MUCM Aaron L. Porter MUC Melissa Bishop MUC Adam K. Grimm MUC Cynthia K. Wolverton MU1 Sarah F. Blecker MU1 Amanda Polychronis MU1 Maia Rodriguez

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 Jon C. Barnes MU1 Eric A. Brown MU1 Jeremy D. Buckler MU1 Adele D. Mayne MU1 David Smith

fanfare is a bi-monthly magazine published by the U.S. Navy Band public affairs staff. Front Cover: Santa Claus visits the Navy Band on stage at DAR Constitiution Hall during the 2014 Holiday Concert in Washington, D.C. (U.S. Navy photo by Musician 1st Class Adele Mayne/ Released)



We enjoyed every song and were impressed that just seven musicians could produce such a first-class show. The U.S. Navy was wellrepresented on that day. I have told friends and family all over the United States to make Country Current a must-see, should they ever be anywhere near one of their tour stops. -Jackie (Medora, North Dakota)

Collins assumes command by Master Chief Musician Aaron Porter


mdr. Ken Collins has been serving as acting commanding officer of the Navy Band since Capt. Brian Walden retired in July. All of that changed at 1 p.m. on Oct. 1, when the Navy Chief of Information, Rear Adm. Dawn Cutler, presided at a ceremony in the Sail Loft officially naming Collins as the band’s next commanding officer. Cutler began her remarks by saying that she’s known Collins for many years at other duty stations throughout the fleet, and that a command position in the Navy creates a high bar for accountability and responsibility. She added that she recommended Collins three times over the years for the job of commanding officer of the Navy Band, and Cmdr. Ken Collins’ wife, Amy, pins on the command ashore pin as Collins assumes command of the U.S. Navy Band. (U.S. Navy Photo by Musician 1st Class Jonathan Barnes/Released) that he was to be “assigned to only the most challenging kinds of concerts and ceremonies, in the nation’s billets” during his time in the fleet. In closing, Cutler capital and all over the country. His concluding enthusiastically said, “I have the utmost confidence in statement, directed to the men and women of the your ability to lead the Navy Band.” band, was emphatic and heartfelt: “I will be the most For his part, Collins thanked his family for the multiple moves around the world, and especially thanked his wife Amy for her “enlistment” in the Navy when he joined 26 years ago. He also acknowledged Lt. Barney Walker, his boss at Navy Band Northeast and his most important mentor, for being an inspiration to him early in his career and for suggesting that Collins enter the limited duty officer program to become a Navy bandmaster. Collins also remarked that the band continues a legacy that began more than a century ago by Navy musicians in Washington by making history every day at all

ardent advocate for you. I am very excited about what we will accomplish.”

When Mrs. Collins pinned the command ashore insignia on his uniform, Collins’ tenure as the 14th leader in the band’s history officially began. The members of the Navy Band are excited about beginning a new chapter in our history with a new commanding officer at the helm, and we look forward to working with him to continue our legacy of musical excellence as the Navy’s premier band. ff


The energy of the group was infectious, the humor family appropriate and the musical ability outstanding. Thank you for providing a wonderful evening. -Thomas (Cheyenne, Wyoming)


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:




“SEASON OF SYMPHONIES” SYMPHONY #6 - PERSICHETTI Reservoir High School 11550 Scaggsville Road Fulton, Md.

FRIDAY, NOV. 13, 7 P.M.

“A TASTE OF AMERICANA” WEST SIDE STORY - BERNSTEIN Stonewall Jackson High School 8820 Rixlew Lane Manassas, Va.

THURSDAY, NOV. 19, 7:30 P.M.

“AN EVENING OF DANCES” WORKS BY COPLAND, CORIGLIANO, MARQUEZ, STRAVINSKY AND SPARKE Bowie Center for the Performing Arts 15200 Annapolis Road Bowie, Md.



Herndon United Methodist Church 701 Bennett St. Herndon, Va.

FRIDAY, NOV. 13, 8 P.M. Old Town Hall 3999 University Drive Fairfax, Va.

CHAMBER GROUPS SUNDAY, NOV. 8, 2 P.M. The Athenaeum 201 Prince St. Alexandria, Va.



SUNDAY, NOV. 22, 3 P.M.

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 4, 7:30 P.M.


THURSDAY, NOV. 5, 7:30 P.M.

Washington College 300 Washington Ave. Chestertown, Md.

FRIDAY, NOV. 6, 7 P.M.

Catonsville Presbyterian Church 1400 Frederick Road Catonsville, Md.

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 11, 7:30 P.M.

SUNDAY, NOV. 15, 4 P.M.

Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church One Chevy Chase Circle, NW Washington, D.C.


SATURDAY, NOV. 21, 2 P.M. Glen Burnie Regional Library 1010 Eastway Glen Burnie, Md.

COMMODORES FALL TOUR The Commodores jazz ensemble continues its 2015 fall tour through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa.

SUNDAY, NOV. 1, 3 P.M. Lake Geneva Middle School Auditorium Lake Geneva, Ill.

MONDAY, NOV. 2, 7 P.M.

Waunekee High School Field House Waunekee, Wis.


Eleanor Roosevelt Middle School Auditorium Dubuque, Iowa

Bettendorf High School Bettendorf Performing Arts Center Bettendorf, Iowa Macomb High School Fellheimer Auditorium Macomb, Ill.

Champaign Centennial High School Champaign, Ill.

SUNDAY, NOV. 8, 3 P.M. Lakeview Middle School Warsaw, Ind.

MONDAY, NOV. 9, 7:30 P.M. Emens Auditorium Ball State University Muncie, Ind.

TUESDAY, NOV. 10, 7:30 P.M. National Museum of the United States Air Force Dayton, Ohio

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 11, 7:30 P.M. Pickerington North High School Gymnasium Pickerington, Ohio

THURSDAY, NOV. 12, 7 P.M. Secrest Auditorium Zanesville, Ohio




“SPIRIT OF THE SEASON” RUSSIAN CHRISTMAS MUSIC - REED River Hill High School 12101 Clarksville Pike Clarksville, Md.

I was very impressed by the artistry, technique, and musicianship, and I loved each and every one of the varied selections--from classical to gospel to folk to patriotic--with background information on each. However, I was doubly impressed by the fact that the musicians arrived on time, ready to perform, in spotless uniforms and shoes, despite a torrential rainstorm and horrible traffic tie-ups on the Beltway and some of the alternate routes. -Barbara (Burtonsville, Maryland)



Noonday Noels Old Presbyterian Meeting House 321 South Fairfax St. Alexandria, Va.

Castleton Theatre 663 Castleton View Road Castleton, Va.


FRIDAY, DEC. 4, 8 P.M. HOLIDAY CONCERT Chesapeake Arts Center 194 Hammonds Lane Brooklyn Park, Md.

SUNDAY, DEC. 6, 6:30 P.M.

HOLIDAY CONCERT Annandale United Methodist Church 6935 Columbia Pike Annandale, Va.

Sailor and Senior Enlisted of the Quarter

SUNDAY, DEC. 6, 4 P.M.


SATURDAY, JAN. 23, TBD “SEASON OF SYMPHONIES” North County High School 10 East 1st Ave. Ferndale, Md.

SATURDAY, JAN. 30, TBD “SEASON OF SYMPHONIES” Yorktown High School 5201 N. 28th St. Arlington, Va.

January-March 2015 MU1 Benjamin Bransford III MUC Robert Holmes


April-June 2015 MU1 Amanda Polychronis MUC James Swarts

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church 6509 Sydenstricker Road Burke, Va.

Friday, jan. 15 and Saturday Jan. 16 Shenandoah University and the Patsy Cline Theater, both in Winchester, Virginia. visit saxophone_symposium.shtml for more information.

SUNDAY, JAN. 10, 4 P.M.

Fair winds and following seas to... MUCM Tim Dickson who retired from the Navy Band after 30 years of service. Dickson served as trumpet instrumentalist for the Concert/Ceremonial Band and assistant drum major. Upon his retirement, he received the Meritorious Service Medal... and to MUCM (IDW) James Ramsey who transfers to Naval School of Music after two years at the U.S. Navy Band...and to MU1 Haley Bangs, flute instrumentalist with the Concert/ Ceremonial Band who separates after 6 years of service...

Holiday Concert at DAR Constitution Hall Saturday, Dec. 19, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 20 at 3 p.m. Cmdr. Collins and the Navy Band invite you to ring in the season at our annual holiday concerts Saturday, Dec. 19, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 20 at 3 p.m. Both performances will take place at DAR Constitution Hall, at 1776 D St. NW in Washington, D.C. You can order up to four free e-tickets starting Monday, Nov.9* at 9 a.m., by visiting This year’s concert combines the musical forces of the Concert Band, Sea Chanters, Country Current and the Cruisers for an entertaining and family-friendly show that promises to delight all ages. We’ve heard that there will be a flyover and visit by a familiar guest as well! Please join us as we usher in everyone’s favorite season.

*Please note, in the print edition of fanfare the date was incorrectly advertised as starting on Nov. 3.


What a fine and memorable performance last night. We already have plans in place to have the band back next year. -Tommy (Bridgeville, Delaware)


Habanera Quartet, Kenneth Tse and Grant Stewart headline 38th Saxophone Symposium By Musician 1st Class Joshua Arvizu


ver the last 38 years the Navy Band’s International Saxophone Symposium has brought world-class soloists and music to the concert stage. This year’s event, which will be held at Shenandoah Conservatory and the Patsy Cline Theatre in Winchester, Virginia, Jan. 15-16, 2016, is no exception. Additionally, a new event is being introduced this year - the High School Honors Recital. The Habanera Quartet hails from France and will be performing Friday, Jan. 15 with the Concert Band. All four members of the quartet hold distinguished musical positions in France and regularly perform around the world. We are particularly excited to host the quartet as they have only performed in the United States once before. The group will be performing a worldpremiere work by Jean-Denis Michat, a well-known French composer and the professor of saxophone at the Conservatory of Lyon.

Also performing with the Concert Band will be Kenneth Tse,

one of the world’s leading classical saxophonists. Tse is the professor of saxophone at the University of Iowa, president of the North

American Saxophone Alliance, and president of the International Saxophone Committee. He will be performing “Madrid Inspiration” by Japanese composer Masanori Katoh. “Madrid Inspiration” is a collection of rousing Spanish folk music, and the composer says the work is meant to “paint a portrait of traditional Spain in a modern soundscape.” The final soloist to be featured with the Concert Band is Musician 1st Class Jonathan Yanik. Yanik joined the Navy Band in 2009 and was appointed principal saxophonist in 2011. The work he has chosen to perform is “Symphonic Rhapsody” by John Anthony Lennon. Composed in 1985 for alto saxophone and orchestra, it has since become one of the most frequently performed concertos for the instrument. Yanik approached Lennon last winter to see if the composer would be willing to arrange the work for alto saxophone and wind ensemble. Lennon agreed, and the new setting of this outstanding work will be heard for the first time at the International Saxophone Symposium. Finally, the Navy Band Commodores will feature outstanding jazz tenor saxophonist Grant Stewart. Born in Toronto, Stewart moved to New York City at the age of 19 and began studying with jazz greats Donald Byrd, Barry Harris and Joe Lovano. He has since recorded 12 albums as a leader, garnering worldwide acclaim, and performed with jazz greats Harry Connick, Jr., Etta Jones, Brad Mehldau, Jon Hendricks and many others. He will be performing a number of his own original compositions as well as traditional works on the Saturday evening concert with the Commodores. In addition to the music above, we are excited that we can offer an opportunity for high school saxophonists to audition to perform a piece on a recital at the symposium. Applications for this brandnew event, called the High School Honors Recital, are available online on the Navy Band’s website at: http:// shtml.


The United States Navy Band is proud to offer this world-class event to the public free of charge. Please mark Jan. 15-16 on your calendars and experience some amazing musicianship with us! ff

Spotlight on... Cmdr. Ken Collins by Chief Musician Cynthia Wolverton

We are excited to introduce you to our new commanding officer/leader, Cmdr. Ken Collins. In 1998, Collins began his career as an officer right here at the Navy Band when he served as ceremonial band leader and associate conductor. Since then he has served as a Navy bandmaster in a variety of locations across the globe and most recently completed a tour as director of Fleet Band Activities. Collins joins us as the 14th leader of the U.S. Navy Band. Tell us a little about your musical background. I began playing drums at a very young age. My father was a band director, so he ensured I had instruction as soon as possible. Where I grew up in Reno, Nevada, there were a lot of really good musicians who played the various shows in town, and I had the good fortune to study with two really good drummer/percussionists, Jon Wacker and Dom Moio. I ended up doing my undergraduate work at the University of Nevada and my director of bands, A. G. McGrannahan, really had a huge influence on me. People ask me all the time what my “favorite” kind of music is and I have to say I really have no answer to that question. I was exposed to so many kinds of music growing up and my teachers really stressed the importance of competence in all styles so I appreciate it all. What has been your favorite duty station and why? I know this sounds cliché, but the Navy has afforded me the opportunity to see the world. I had never been anywhere but the West Coast before enlisting, and now I have lived everywhere from the South Pacific to Europe. As far as a favorite place, that is really difficult, but I will say that what has really made them all memorable and special is the people I have met from around the globe. It really is the people I remember more than any specific location. Hawaii is pretty nice, though... Could you share two or three highlights of your Navy career thus far? I have had so many wonderful experiences. It was very special to participate in the May Day Parade in Red

Square in Moscow with the U.S. Naval Forces Europe Band in 2010. I had seen that event on TV as a child, and to actually be standing in the middle of Red Square for an event of that magnitude was something I will never forget. It also reminded me how far we had come in the world since the days of the Cold War. Another event Commander Ken Collins that sticks with me is much smaller in scale and from early in my career. We traveled from Guam to the tiny island of Chuuk and participated in the inauguration of the governor there. One of their customs was to include short foot races (100 or 200 yards) as part of the festivities. The Senators and other officials in the government participated in these and they wanted a representative from the band. Because of my running background I was chosen, and I remember our leader telling me to take it easy because some of these folks were a bit older. Well, I didn’t take it easy and I still finished dead last in my “heat.” The guys never let me hear the end of that, but what a unique experience. What is the role of a Navy bandmaster? When I was selected for a commission my bandmaster at the time, Lt. Barney Walker, told me there is no specific handbook for exactly how to do this job. That statement has held true for sure. We are certainly the leaders of our respective organizations, but the roles vary from day to day. The bandmaster is responsible for everything that goes on in his or her organization, from musical performances to administrative matters, legal matters, you name it. I believe, bottom line, it is our job to ensure our people are taken care of and the mission is accomplished at the highest level possible. What is a typical day for you? The great thing about Continued on page this job, and really my



It’s as good a “big band” as ever was, and a credit to the Navy music program. Seeing and hearing such a skilled, professional ensemble contributes to our high regard for the entire US Navy and strengthens our confidence in the Navy’s ability to perform all its missions. -Joel (Alexandria, Virginia)




of the navy




Spotlight continued... entire career, is there is no such thing as a typical day. Various requirements dictate what I do on any given day. I can’t count the number of days I have begun with a specific plan in mind only to get to the end of the day and find out I didn’t do anything that was on my “list.” I actually love that. I tell people all of the time that whenever I look at the clock I am always thinking...”It’s already (name the time). Where has the time gone?” The day I look at the clock and say, “It’s only (name the time),” it’s time to retire and do something else.


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

You mentioned earlier your background in running. Are you still a runner? Yes, I am. Distance running provides me time to be by myself and alone with my thoughts. I never run with music going, except for dreaded excursions on the treadmill, but I enjoy the solitude and I really do some of my best thinking on a long run where there are no distractions. I also really enjoy a nice big cheeseburger after a good effort! ff

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Fanfare (November/December 2015)  

Assumption of command; Holiday concerts; Spotlight on new CO; Saxophone Symposium; Commodores on tour

Fanfare (November/December 2015)  

Assumption of command; Holiday concerts; Spotlight on new CO; Saxophone Symposium; Commodores on tour