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September/October 2013 w Volume 34 Number 5

Navy Birthday Concert at Strathmore Spotlight on MUC (Sel) Christian Johanson The Sail Loft’s “brush” with history

A Message from the Commanding Officer



ith this issue, we wrap up another season of concerts played on balmy evenings in the long summer twilight at venues such as the Capitol steps, the Navy Memorial and the many parks and town squares in the Washington area. It’s hard to believe that another summer season is over and our fall schedule is getting under way. While every summer season is busy, I can personally attest that being the commanding officer of the finest musicians in the finest Navy in the world is the best and most rewarding job I’ve ever had. In the previous issue of fanfare, I mentioned the impact of sequestration on our mission, and the cancelations and disruptions to our schedule that it has caused. It is usual for me to mention in this space the Country Current tour in September, but as I pointed out in the last issue that tour has been canceled. The Commodores tour that was scheduled for November has also been canceled. We feel the disappointment of this decision every bit as much as our patrons, as performing on national tours is one of the most important and rewarding things we do, but there was no alternative, given the fiscal realities. Summer is one of my favorite times of year, because I get to perform one of the most gratifying jobs for any commanding officer, congratulating our newest senior chief and chief petty officers. In June we welcomed two new senior chiefs, Scott Silbert and Leon Alexander, into the “flag ranks” of the chief petty officer community. Our chief selectees are Adam Grimm, Christian Johanson, Lera League, Rachel Sarracco and Amy Smith. I look forward to more great things from all our new enlisted leaders. Looking ahead to October, we’re honored to have Adm. Jonathan Greenert, the chief of naval operations, as our host at a concert to celebrate the Navy’s 238th birthday. This year, our venue will be the beautiful Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda. Please see the article in this issue for more information. As always, we thank you for your support of the Navy Band and Navy music. We look forward to seeing you at a concert this fall!

Volume 34 Number 5

Commanding Officer/Leader CAPT Brian O. Walden

Public Affairs Chief MUCM Aaron L. Porter Editorial Staff MUCM Aaron L. Porter MUCS Juan Vazquez MUC Cynthia K. Wolverton MUC (Sel) Adam K. Grimm

Photographers MUC Stephen W. Hassay MUC Brian P. Bowman MU1 David B. Aspinwall MU1 Jeremy Buckler MU1 Adele Mayne MU1 Jeremy Middleton

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: The colors are presented by members of the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard, while a male vocal quartet (from left to right: MU1 Bill Edwards, MU1 Mike Webb, MU1 Adam Whitman and MUC Michael Belinkie) sings the national anthem. (U.S. Navy photo by MUC Stephen Hassay/Released)

Sea Chanters

I am a retired USAF Officer and would like to thank the band for their outstanding performance here on 17 June. It was an honor to have served and a delight to know how well the Navy band is carrying on such a wonderful tradition as well, I hope the other services are doing the same. Elaine – Alexandria, Va.


Celebrate the Navy’s 238th birthday with the Navy Band by Musician 1st Class Amanda Polychronis


oin us in celebrating the Navy’s birthday on Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m. We’re excited to announce that this year’s concert will be at a new location, the Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda, Md. Please check our website at frequently for more information and updates. Hosted by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, the theme of this year’s event is “America’s Navy: Defending Freedom With Pride.” The concert will highlight the heritage of our nation and Navy, pay tribute to our officers from the space program, and honor our wounded warriors and their caregivers. Four Navy Band ensembles will collaborate to perform something for everyone, from traditional songs of the sea to contemporary country tunes. In honor of the

150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, quotes by President Abraham Lincoln highlighting freedom and liberty will be displayed on the video screen throughout the concert. Join us in a celebration of our heritage, and salute our wounded warriors and care-givers! The Music Center at Strathmore is located at 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, Md. Free parking will be available at the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro station garage on Tuckerman Lane. For more details and ticket information, go to our website at Birthday.shtml For details on parking and how to get to Strathmore, go to directionsparking.asp. ff

The Sail Loft’s “brush” with history by Master Chief Musician Aaron Porter


ept. 17 will mark the 226th anniversary of the signing of the document that laid the foundation for our nation, the Constitution. If you’ve ever taken a tour of the Capitol building in Washington, you’ve probably seen the most famous depiction of this event, Howard Chandler Christy’s Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, on display along the east stairway in the House of Representatives wing. However, you probably don’t know that the Navy Band has a unique relationship to the creation of the massive, 20-foot by 30-foot canvas. In 1935, Sol Bloom, a member of the House of Representatives from New York’s 19th district, was appointed director general of the United States Constitution Sesquicentennial Commission and began working on the best way to commemorate this momentous event. He soon realized that there was no painting of the signing displayed in the Capitol. Interestingly, the few depictions that did exist elsewhere were highly symbolic and allegorical, (indeed, allegorical renditions by Christy himself, a poster, “We The People,” and a painting, “Signing of the Constitution,” were both completed in 1937, while he was conducting research for “Scene at the Signing”) or clumsy attempts lacking historical accuracy as to location, dress, and representation of the signers.

Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States (Painting by Howard Chandler Christy)

Christy, one of the most celebrated illustrators and portraitists of the time, was already well-known to members of Congress, having painted several of their portraits, including one of Bloom in 1937. Bloom approached Christy about the idea of a large-scale painting of the signing and, in a quest for authenticity, they began painstaking research to find portraits of the original signers. Christy became so involved in the research for this project that he made a sketch at Independence Hall in Philadelphia on the same month and time of day when the Constitution was signed, so as to accurately portray the Continued on page 6 angle of sunlight coming

Country Current

Thank you, Country Current, for the great concert you performed Thursday evening in beautiful Waynesboro, PA! Sorry about the ground bees…I guess they were enjoying the music, too! Connie – 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:


Concert Band

Thursday, Sep. 19, 7:30 P.M. Bowie Center for the Performing Arts 15200 Annapolis Rd. Bowie, Md.

Sunday, Sep. 22, 2 P.M.

Chamber Music Recital Arlington National Cemetery Women’s Memorial Theater Arlington, Va.

Sunday, Sep. 29, 3 p.m.

Burke Methodist Church 6200 Burke Center Parkway Burke, Va.


Wednesday, Sep. 4, 6 p.m. Millennium Stage The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

2700 F St. NW Washington, D.C.

Saturday, Sep. 7, 2 p.m. St. John’s United Methodist Church 5312 Backlick Rd. Springfield, Va.


Thursday, Sep. 12, 7:30 p.m. The Yards Park 355 Water St. S.E. Washington, D.C.

Saturday, Sep. 14, 6:15 p.m.

Friday, Sep. 6, 7 p.m.


La Plata Town Hall La Plata, Md.

Hagerstown Community College 11400 Robinwood Dr. Hagerstown, Md.

Calvert Marine Museum 14200 Solomons Island Rd. Solomons, Md.

Saturday, Sep. 14, 3 p.m.

Friday, Sep. 27, 7 p.m.

Town Square Front Royal, Va.

La Plata Town Hall La Plata, Md.

sUNDAY, sEP. 8, 3 P.M.

Thursday, Sep. 19, 7:30 p.m.

Brass Quintet

Saturday, Sep. 21, 6 p.m.

Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church 3401 Nebraska Ave. NW Washington, D.C.

fRIDAY, sEP. 6, 6 P.M.

High Street and Cross Street Chestertown, Md.

Wednesday, Sep. 11, 9 a.m. Flight 93 National Memorial 6424 Lincoln Highway Stoystown, Pa.

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The Yards Park 355 Water St. S.E. Washington, D.C.

Montpelier Constitution Day James Madison’s Montpelier 11407 Constitution Highway Montpelier Station, Va.

Country Current

Thursday, Sep. 5, 7:30 p.m. The Yards Park 355 Water St. S.E. Washington, D.C.

Sunday, Sep. 29, 3 p.m.

Skipjack Trio

Wednesday, Sep. 17, 6 p.m. Millennium Stage The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

2700 F St. NW Washington, D.C.

Wonderful concert in the Kentlands, Gaithersburg, Md. Casey Elliott was fantastic. Make her a permanent member! Steven – Facebook



Concert Band

Wednesday, oct. 16, 7 p.m. Rockville High School 2100 Baltimore Rd. Rockville, Md.

Wednesday, Oct. 30, 7 p.m.

Concert Band Brass Ensemble Founders Day, Library of Congress Jefferson Building Washington, D.C.


Saturday, Oct. 12, 12 p.m.

Capital Maritime Music Festival U.S. Navy Memorial 701 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. Washington, D.C.

Sunday, Oct. 20, 7:30 p.m.

St. Paul United Methodist Church

1400 G St.

Woodbridge, Va.


Friday, Oct. 4, 7:30 p.m.

Howard Community College 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway Columbia, Md.

Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal MU1 Nicholas Cooper MU1 Daniel Geldert MU1 William Edwards MU1 David Miller MU1 Amanda Polychronis MU1 David Sigmon Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal

Tuesday, Oct. 15, 6:30 p.m. Lackey High School 3000 Chicamuxen Rd. Indian Head, Md.

Country Current Bluegrass Group

Saturday, Oct. 19, 7 p.m.

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

Fair winds and following seas to... Chief Musician Eric Moore, French horn instrumentalist with the Concert/Ceremonial Band, who is retiring after 20 years of service. Moore was principal horn for 10 years, and also served as Concerto Competition coordinator, played with the “Windjammers” woodwind quintet and volunteered with the Navy Band blood drive and recreation committee.

Fair winds and following seas to... Musician 1st Class Brian Hecht, bass trombonist with the Concert/Ceremonial Band, who is separating after three years.

MUC Courtney Williams


The Commodores played at Goucher College Tuesday evening and put on a stunning show. Tim Stanley was featured often and blew the roof down! I enjoyed every single chart. The band just keeps getting better and better. You guys are the best. David – Facebook


“Brush” with history (continued from page 3) through the windows. Bloom first proposed to Congress that Christy be commissioned to produce the painting in 1937. As with most proposals, there was much debate about the cost, the necessity of such a painting, and whether Christy was the best person for the job. Ultimately, his work on “We the People” and “Signing of the Constitution,” which received generally positive reactions from members of Congress, convinced them to ratify a joint resolution in April 1939, authorizing the commission and Christy as the painter, with the caveat that it should not be allegorical, but as true to history as possible. Christy’s payment for this commission was $30,000. Then, a practical problem had to be solved. Where does one hang a 1,700 pound, 20-by-30 canvas? No studio was big enough. Eventually, after Secretary of the Navy Charles Edison was contacted, Christy was given access to the Navy Band’s sail loft in building 112, where he worked on his magnum (literally!) opus while members of the band rehearsed. In those days, there was no suspended ceiling in the Sail Loft, so the canvas could be hung from the steel beam rafters. It is said that he used members of the band as models. From August 1939 to April 1940, Christy worked on the painting. When it was finished, he signed it, “Howard Chandler Christy, Sail Loft, U.S. Navy Yard, Washington, D.C., April, 1940.” When the painting was finished, Christy had a small drawing printed, with a key that helps identify the

delegates depicted. As a measure of his gratitude, he presented one to the band’s archives, with this handwritten inscription: “This painting, the original of which hangs in the Capitol Building was painted in this end of the Sail Loft, here in the Navy Yard. Permission to do this work here was given through the kindness of the Secretary of the Navy, Chas. Edison, Admiral George Pettengill USN, and Captain of the Yard, CAPT Reichmuth USN. I shall always feel indebted to these three men and to Lieut. Chas. Benter, Leader of the Navy Band and to the personnel of the Yard. It was a source of real pride and happiness to be thus associated (in a small way) with our glorious Navy.” - Howard Chandler Christy 1940 In preparation for the unveiling on May 29, 1940, Christy sent a guest list to the architect of the Capitol. On the list, below the vice president, the speaker of the house, and other dignitaries, he wrote, “U.S. Navy Band.” When the painting was unveiled, the Navy Band performed “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Christy was obviously grateful to the band and the Navy Yard for providing the space needed to work on such a monumental project. Since the band’s inception in 1925, the Sail Loft has been at the center of musical creativity in the form of hours of rehearsal and performance by all the units of the band. The Navy Band is proud of its association with Christy, and that the Sail Loft was the locale for the creation of his most famous work of art. ff

In memoriam James A. Savage, 1944 - 2013 The Navy Band mourns the passing of retired Chief Musician Jim Savage. He died on the morning of Thursday, June 4, in Jacksonville, Fla. Savage was born in 1944 in Cordele, Ga., started playing the alto saxophone at age 12, and soon added bassoon, baritone horn, trombone and drums to the list. He joined the Navy in 1962 after graduating Chief of the Quarter Apr. - June 2013 Chief Musician John Parsons

Country Current

from Matthew W. Gilbert High School in Jacksonville. Following boot camp in Great Lakes, Ill., and the basic music course at the Armed Forces School of Music, he was assigned to the Commander Naval Air Pacific Band in San Diego. After tours of duty in Treasure Island, Calif., with COMCRUDESPAC in San Diego and at Naval Training Command in Orlando, Fla., he reported to the U.S. Navy Band in 1975 as the drummer with Port Authority. He retired from active duty in 1985. ff Sailor of the Quarter Apr. - June 2013 Musician 1st Class Jennifer Stothoff

Great show at Leesylvania State Park. You make me proud to have been a part of this great Navy for 20 years. Keep it up. Daniel – Facebook


Spotlight on...Chief (select) Musician Christian Johanson by Senior Chief Musician Juan Vazquez

One of the Navy Band’s newly selected chief petty officers is the Concert Band’s Chief (select) Musician Christian Johanson. His willingness to contribute and excel at a high level is a testament to his success. Tell us a little about yourself. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. After two years of piano lessons I started playing the French horn in fourth grade. Our next door neighbors were both musicians and I decided on the horn after listening to one of their community orchestra rehearsals. I took private lessons with Karen Schneider through my senior year, and attended the School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati-one of the original magnet arts schools in the U.S. While in high school I played in the Cincinnati Youth Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Keith Lockhart, which was amazing! I also sang in the chorus (with Drew and Nick Lachey!), but I soon needed to choose between voice or horn. I decided to continue my studies with the French horn. After high school I continued my studies at the University of Akron to study horn with Bill Hoyt, a phenomenal teacher who also plays jazz horn. Upon graduation I then went to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to complete my master’s degree with Douglas Hill. Madison, Wis., is a fantastic town! I then moved back to Cincinnati to start an Artist Diploma at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, studying with Randy Gardner. While there I performed part time with the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra. It was at this time that I took the audition for the Navy Band and won. It was time to start earning a regular paycheck. Congratulations on your recent selection to chief petty officer! How do feel about this and what extra duties helped you along the way? Being selected to chief petty officer is a great honor. For me it’s the culmination of 10 years of hard work. My grandfather served in the Navy during WWII. He was a lieutenant on USS Luce (DD 522), a destroyer

which was sunk by Japanese suicide planes. One third of the crew perished. My grandfather survivedotherwise I wouldn’t be here today. I’ve done a number of collateral duties in the band. I was the leave control manager for three years (back when there were actual leave papers!). I’ve been the Chief (select) Musician Christian Johanson Concert Band leading petty officer for the past two years. Currently I serve as the Ceremonial Band’s operations assistant. Lastly, I was a national tour manager for seven years! Tour managers handle virtually every aspect of a national tour for one of the band’s units. This includes planning, contacting and booking the concert sponsors and venues a year in advance; researching and booking all lodging; planning the travel route; coordinating security; assisting with public relations; and more. I had the pleasure of managing two Country Current tours, one Commodores tour and four Concert Band tours. It was a ton of work but very rewarding to see an enthusiastic packed house night after night. Describe a typical work day for you. A typical day for me… well, most days are varied somewhat. We have a schedule that constantly changes. Typically I have LPO work to do in the morning before rehearsal. Rehearsal is usually about two and a half hours. Then I grab a quick lunch and return to the desk! I do the Ceremonial Band work in the afternoon which includes notifying band members what their funeral obligations are for the next day. That usually takes me up to around 3 p.m. Time for physical fitness! And then time to pick up my daughter. Then depending on the night or the season, we may have a concert in the evening. Could you share with us two highlights during your time with the band? Well, one highlight is something that continues to happen for me. At the end of each concert we play the Continued on page



Thanks for a great performance! @usnavyband





of the navy




Spotlight continued...


Armed Forces Medley. Especially on tour, we get a large number of older veterans at our concerts. When we’re playing their service song, and I can see their faces as they stand up at attention, with pride, it gives me chills thinking of their contributions and sacrifices to this country. Another memorable moment was when I was asked to photograph a full honors funeral of an activeduty Sailor killed in action. It was a cold, snowy day in Arlington National Cemetery, and there were HUNDREDS of Sailors in attendance, supporting the parents of their fallen shipmate. The most memorable photo I took was of Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, kneeling and clasping both parents’ hands in his as he spoke to them. It was a moment I’ll never forget.

I’m currently reading “DD 522: Diary of a Destroyer”- the story about the WWII destroyer that my grandfather, Lt. Ken Heuck, served aboard. I’m also reading the complete short stories of Ernest Hemingway. I just finished “The Black Box” by Michael Connelly.

Name three pieces of music that you are currently listening to and three books that you are reading or have just finished. I’m listening to anything with Bill Evans, the “Garden State” soundtrack, and former Country Current member Frank Solivan’s newest CD.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? When I’m not working I enjoy photography, working on our house (just built a front porch!), and spending lots of time with my beautiful 1-year-old daughter! ff

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

What is your goal for the future? My future goal is to become a better photographer. Are there any special places that you enjoy visiting? My wife and I love to travel. She grew up in Eastern Europe, so we usually visit there once a year. We have also traveled to Iceland, Sweden, France, Italy, Belgium, Germany and Denmark. We just took our daughter to Europe in April; she was only 7 months old!

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Fanfare (September/October)  
Fanfare (September/October)  

Navy birthday concert, the Sail Loft's "brush" with history, spotlight on Christian Johanson