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September/October 2014 w Volume 35 Number 5

200 years of “The Star-Spangled Banner” Saxophone Symposium is back! Spotlight on MUC Pat White


A Message from the Commanding Officer

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ongratulations to Chief (select) Musicians Jennifer Krupa, Beth Revell, Scott Shepherd, Shana Sullivan and Jim Swarts. Being selected for chief petty officer is one of the biggest milestones in an enlisted Sailor’s career. I’m very proud of the work these folks have done, and am looking forward to their leadership, advice and counsel in the future. It was this month 200 years ago that Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and Master Chief Musician Aaron Porter has written a great article about the history of our national anthem. In addition, we’ll be spending a lot of time in Baltimore during the Star-Spangled Spectacular and Navy Week taking place there Sept. 9-16. Besides our ensembles, the Baltimore Navy Week will feature performances by the Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron, Leap Frogs parachute team, and the U.S. Naval Academy Band. Speaking of anniversaries, our Navy celebrates 239 years of service Oct. 13. We’ll be celebrating with a special concert at the Music Center at Strathmore Oct. 7. If you have enjoyed our Concerts on the Avenue or our holiday concerts in the past, then you won’t want to miss our birthday concert! Finally, you’ll notice that we’ve had a lot of new people report aboard in the last several months. After a few years of limited hiring, we’re approaching full strength for the first time in years. I’ve been very proud of the hard work, adaptability and versatility our folks have demonstrated, accomplishing our mission while missing critical pieces all over the organization.

fanfare Volume 35 Number 5

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 Layout and Design MUC Stephen W. Hassay MU1 Adrienne W. Moore

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

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: Composite Photograph of the Star Spangled Banner. In 2001, conservators removed a linen backing that had been attached to the flag in 1914, revealing a side of the Star-Spangled Banner not seen in more than 80 years. Because the flag was in the conservation lab it could not be photographed as a whole. Using computer technology, 73 individual shots of the flag were pieced together, like a puzzle, to create this composite image.

COUNTRY CURRENT

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The tribute for each military service was especially poignant. The lead singer had us laughing, and the foot-tapping show made everyone feel alive. The incredible musical talent on that stage could have lined the streets of Virginia Gateway. Let us know when you will be back, and we will bring our dancing shoes! -Lauren (Gainesville, Virginia)


After 200 years, the Star Spangled Banner still waves By Master Chief Musician Aaron Porter

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his September, our national anthem will celebrate its 200th birthday. More accurately, the poem that served as the foundation of what would be officially recognized as our national anthem was written by Francis Scott Key on Sept. 14, 1814. The intricate tale of how this poem and the music associated with it became our national anthem is as American as the circumstances that inspired Key during the famous assault on Fort McHenry. “The Star-Spangled Banner” is ubiquitous today, performed at every sporting event and concert by high schools and military bands, and it’s difficult to imagine it hasn’t always been that way. The story behind Key’s inspiration is well-known to most of us—the sight of the huge garrison flag with 15 stars and stripes, flying above the fort after the British Royal Navy’s unrelenting barrage of bombs and rockets throughout the night. What’s not so well known is the long, winding path the words and music followed to their final recognition by an act of Congress as our national anthem, and the role our military bands played in this saga. By September 1814, the United States had been at war with Great Britain for just over two years. The young upstart nation won the Revolution not many years before, and was being tested again by the world’s most powerful military. British forces overran Washington on Aug. 24, forcing first lady Dolley Madison to evacuate the White House before

it, the Capitol and other landmarks were burned by the enemy. The Navy Yard was set ablaze by order of its first commandant, Commodore Thomas Tingey, to keep its lumber and ships from falling into British hands. In early September, the Royal Navy’s Vice Adm. Sir Alexander Cochrane assembled a fleet in the Chesapeake Bay and prepared to sail up the Patapsco River toward Baltimore, with the intent of exacting similar damage to that vital port. Key, a Washington lawyer, assigned by President James Madison to negotiate an exchange of prisoners, had been welcomed aboard the HMS Tonnant under a flag of truce. Over several days on the flagship, he made his case with Cochrane and Maj. Gen. Robert Ross, who finally agreed to release the American prisoners. However, because Key had heard Cochrane and Ross discuss details of the plans for the attack on Baltimore, he was held captive through the night of the assault. Fort McHenry, which defended the approach to Baltimore harbor, was bombarded by the British fleet all day and overnight on Sept. 13 with an estimated 133 tons of shells, to no avail. At dawn, after an anxious all-night vigil, Key saw the flag still flying over the fort, and was moved to write a rough draft of his poem on the back of a letter he had in his pocket. As the British fleet turned to leave the harbor, Robert Barrett, a midshipman in Cochrane’s fleet noted: “The Americans hoisted a most superb and splendid ensign on their battery, and fired at the same time a gun of defiance.” This defiance of the world’s most powerful Navy had a huge impact on the country’s morale. After his release the next day, Key made finishing touches to the poem in Baltimore and it was first published on Sept. 20 by the Baltimore Patriot and Evening Advertiser with the title, “Defence of Fort McHenry.” The editor stated that the poem was to be performed to the tune of a popular song, “Anacreon in Heaven,” the official song of the Anacreontic Society, an 18th-century gentlemen’s club of amateur musicians in London. It was popular at the time for poets and lyricists to specify that their lines were to be sung to well-known tunes, and Key had in fact previously written a poem “When the Warrior Continued on page 4

COUNTRY CURRENT

A wonderful concert and a fitting tribute to the men and women in our armed forces. Thank you so much and please bring them back next year. -Frank (Wilmington, Delaware)

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Star-Spangled banner continued... Returns,” also set to this melody. The song quickly caught on and became so popular that it appeared in 17 newspapers within a matter of weeks. By October, the words and music had been published under the title, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and it received its first public performance at Captain McCauley’s Tavern in Baltimore. From that point on, the song only gained in popularity. It was used by politicians and presidential campaigns throughout the early 19th century, performed at July Fourth celebrations and remained a patriotic staple through the Civil War. In spite of its extreme popularity, however, the song was still not officially recognized as the national anthem. It was at this point that military bands took on a special role in changing that status. In his exhaustive work on the anthem, “History of the Star-Spangled Banner from 1814 to Present” (1969), George J. Svejda states, “In spite of its prominence among patriotic tunes, the Star Spangled Banner had as yet no special status. It was the Navy Department, which in 1889 took a step away from custom and conferred official status on the Star Spangled Banner, by prescribing that it be played for the morning Colors ceremony. This was the first official step on the long road leading to formal recognition of the Star Spangled Banner as the National Anthem on March 3, 1931.” This first step was carried out via General Order #374, issued by Secretary of the Navy B. F. Tracy on July 26, 1889, in which he decreed that the anthem would be played by Navy and Marine Corps bands for morning colors, and “Hail Columbia” for evening colors. In October of that year, Tracy ordered John Philip Sousa, the bandmaster of the U.S. Marine Band, to put together a book of “national and patriotic airs” of all nations for use by the Department of the Navy. When it was published in 1890, it quickly became a standard reference throughout the world. In July, the Marine Band had been ordered by Tracy to end its concerts with a performance of the anthem. In 1891, Sousa convinced President Benjamin Harrison

CRUISERS

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Musician 1st Class Brandon Almagro renders taps as the Star-Spangled Banner is lowered for the evening, playing a part in one of the oldest ceremonies in Baltimore. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Musician Stephen Hassay/Released)

to approve national tours by the Marine Band and they departed on April 1 for their inaugural tour, during which the band concluded every concert with the anthem. Patriotic sentiment rises during times of national crisis, of course, and when the SpanishAmerican War was declared in April 1898, “The StarSpangled Banner” realized a surge of popularity at band and orchestra concerts. On May 1, 1898, the Navy helped end the war by destroying the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay and for the first time, as the American flag was raised over Manila, a U.S. regimental band played “The Star-Spangled Banner.” As the 19th century came to a close, the Navy and Army wrote regulations governing the rendering of honors by service members when the anthem was performed. Thus, over time, the song became the de facto national anthem, and popular sentiment grew for the government to accord it formal recognition as such. It was at about this time, however, that certain objections began to be raised about the anthem’s suitability because the melody was borrowed. The biggest argument against it was its octave and a half range, making it very awkward to sing. In addition, many mostly-amateur composers tried to interest the government in their own compositions as alternatives. All of these efforts were found wanting. There was a movement to replace it with “America the Beautiful,” but this also failed to gain any popular footing. Nothing, it seemed could dislodge “The Star-Spangled Banner” from its place as the unofficial national anthem. The effort to achieve Congressional recognition of the anthem began in earnest in 1910. Several bills introduced in the Continued on page 10

The Cruisers are some of the most gifted musicians I’ve ever had the pleasure to see in concert as well as incredibly entertaining individuals. I’m fortunate to live in Rehoboth and attend most of the shows and concerts downtown. It’s rare to see so many people stay the entire time to watch a group perform, but everyone tonight seemed glued to their seat. It was a truly wonderful show and I just wanted to say “thank you.” Hopefully I’ll get to see another of your shows soon. -Anne (Rehoboth Beach, Delaware)


America’s Navy: On the Sea and Beyond

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by Musician 1st Class Sarah Blecker

his October marks the 239th birthday of the United States Navy, and to celebrate, the Navy Band will present a concert Oct. 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore. We are very excited to perform at the new venue, having missed the opportunity to do so last year when the concert was canceled due to the government shutdown. Hosted by the chief of naval operations, this year’s theme is “America’s Navy: On the Sea and Beyond.” Throughout the evening we will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner” and the heritage of the nation and our Navy. We will also pay tribute to naval accomplishments on, under and beyond the sea, and honor wounded warriors and their caregivers. Three of the band’s six

performing ensembles will participate with music ranging from patriotic tunes to rock. The concert will also feature video “shout-outs” from around the fleet as well as quotes from our nation’s presidents that call to mind our freedom and liberty. Please join us as we celebrate the Navy and our great country. The Music Center at Strathmore is located at 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, Maryland. Free parking will be available at the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro station garage on Tuckerman Lane. The event is free, but tickets are required. For more details and how to acquire tickets, visit our website at http://www.navyband.navy.mil/Navy_Birthday. shtml. For details on parking and how to get to Strathmore, please visit http://www.strathmore.org/ planyourvisit/directionsparking.asp. ff

A Navy Band Summer

CRUISERS

We saw a concert last week at the same venue with a talented band full of tattoos, piercings and hip clothing. When I saw you guys step on stage looking polished, professional and well pressed, I had to admit I was skeptical. My husband, who used to be in the Navy said I would be surprised and I surely was. You 8 were amazing! We thoroughly enjoyed it and you are all extremely talented. -Shellie (Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania)

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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 www.twitter.com/usnavyband. For the most up-to-date information, please check our online performance calendar at: www.navyband.navy.mil

SEPTEMBER CONCERT BAND

WINDJAMMERS WOODWIND QUINTET

COUNTRY CURRENT BLUEGRASS GROUP

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

Glen Burnie Regional Library 1010 Eastway Glen Burnie, Md.

Town of Milton Bluegrass Festival Union and Chandler streets Milton, Del.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 20, 7:30 P.M.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 6, 2 P.M.

SEA CHANTERS

SKIPJACK TRIO

Hagerstown Community College 11400 Robinwood Drive Hagerstown, Md.

St. Benedict Church 2612 Wilkens Ave. Baltimore, Md.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 6, 6:15 P.M.

SUNDAY, SEPT. 21, 2 P.M.

National Presbyterian Church 4101 Nebraska Ave. N.W. Washington, D.C.

COMMODORES

FRIDAY, SEPT. 12, 4:45 P.M. Harborplace Amphitheater 201 E. Pratt St. Baltimore, Md.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 13, 10 A.M. Martin State Airport 701 Wilson Point Road Middle River, Md.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 20, 6 P.M. James Madison’s Montpelier 13384 Laundry Road Montpelier Station, Va.

CRUISERS

SATURDAY, SEPT. 13, 6:30 P.M. Harborplace Amphitheater 201 E. Pratt St. Baltimore, Md.

FRIDAY, SEPT. 26, 7 P.M. La Plata Town Hall La Plata, Md.

SUNDAY, SEPT. 7, 7:30 P.M.

OCTOBER

CONCERT BAND

SATURDAY, OCT. 18, TBD

COUNTRY CURRENT

departs on a 14 day tour on September 11. Come out and see us!

THURSDAY, SEPT. 11, 6:30 P.M. National D-Day Memorial Bedford, Va.

THURSDAY, OCT. 16, 7 P.M.

FRIDAY, SEPT. 12, 7 P.M. The Lincoln Theater Marion, Va.

SEA CHANTERS

SATURDAY, SEPT. 13, 7 P.M. Soldier and Sailor Memorial Auditorium Chattanooga, Tenn.

Westfield High School 4700 Stonecroft Blvd. Chantilly, Va.

TUESDAY, OCT. 21, 12:10 P.M. Church of the Epiphany 1317 G St. NW Washington, D.C.

COMMODORES

FRIDAY, OCT. 3, 8 P.M.

Howard Community College 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway Columbia, Md.

THURSDAY, OCT. 9, 6:30 P.M. Henry E. Lackey High School 3000 Chicamuxen Road Indian Head, Md.

SUNDAY, SEPT. 14, 7 P.M. Ford Center for the Performing Arts University of Mississippi Oxford, Miss. MONDAY, SEPT. 15, 7:30 P.M. David Lipscomb University Allen Arena Nashville, Tenn.

COUNTRY CURRENT

TUESDAY, SEPT. 16, 6:30 P.M. Handy Park Memphis, Tenn.

Katzen Arts Center American University 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW Washington, D.C.

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 17, 7:30 P.M. Lily Peter Auditorium Phillips Community College Helena, Ark.

SATURDAY, OCT. 11, 7 P.M.

FOURTH OF JULY

Outstanding, simply an outstanding 4th of July concert.

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-Robert (Washington, D.C.)


FRIDAY, SEPT. 19, 7 P.M. Robson Performing Arts Center Claremore, Okla.

TUESDAY, SEPT. 23, 7 P.M. Alma Performing Arts Center Alma, Ark.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 20, 6 P.M. Calvary Baptist Arts Neosho, Mo.

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 24, 7 P.M. Bartlesville Community Auditorium Bartlesville, Okla.

SUNDAY, SEPT. 21, 3 P.M. Tulsa Community College Tulsa, Okla. MONDAY, SEPT. 22, 7 P.M. Arend Arts Center Bentonville, Ark.

THURSDAY, SEPT. 25, 7 P.M. Asbury United Methodist Church Tulsa, Okla.

COMMODORES

leave October 26 on their fall tour. See the rest of their tour dates at our website.

SUNDAY, OCT. 26, TBD Rowan University Pfleeger Concert Hall Glassboro, N.J.

MONDAY, OCT. 27, 7 P.M. Scottish Rite Cathedral West Reading, Pa.

Welcome aboard to...

Welcome aboard to Lt. Cmdr. Bruce McDonald, executive officer; Lt. j.g. Luslaida Barbosa, concert/ceremonial department head; Chief Musician Dawn Henry, clarinetist with the Concert/Ceremonial Band; Musician 1st Class Chris Buchannan, trumpeter with the Concert/Ceremonial Band; Musician 1st Class Allison Fletcher, flutist with the Concert/Ceremonial Band; Musician 1st Class Benjamin Ford, trombonist with the Commodores; Musician 1st Class Rob Kurth, bass vocalist with the Sea Chanters; Musician 1st Class Danny Stuart, string bassist with Country Current; Musician 1st Class Travis Siehndel, tubist with the Concert/Ceremonial Band and Musician 1st Class Matt Stuver, saxophonist with the Cruisers.

Fair winds and following seas to...

Lt. j.g. Bruce Mansfield who transfers to Navy Band Northwest after two years at the Navy Band; Master Chief Musician Joe Brown, drum major/euphoniumist with Concert/Ceremonial Band, who is retiring after 30 years on active duty; Senior Chief Musician Juan Vazquez, percussionist with the Concert/Ceremonial Band, who is retiring after 26 years on active duty; Musician 1st Class Jeremy Saunders saxophonist with the Cruisers who transfers to the Naval School of Music after four years at the Navy Band and to Musician 1st Class Matt Kantorski percussionist with the Concert/Ceremonial Band who separates after six years of active duty.

CONCERTS ON THE AVENUE

Amazing concert! Thanks to @usnavyband!

-@CocoAyesha (Twitter)

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In memoriam MUCS (ret.) George W. Palmer, 1934-2014

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he Navy Band mourns the passing of retired Senior Chief Musician George W. Palmer, Jr. who died July 13, 2014, in Orlando, Florida. Palmer was born in 1934 in Lake Luzerne, New York, attended Lake Luzerne High School where he played trombone in the band, and at age 14 became a member of the pit band at the Rialto Theater in Glens Falls, New York. Palmer enlisted in the Navy in 1954 and, after completing the musician’s course at the Navy School of Music in Anacostia, was assigned to the Seventh Fleet Band, with service aboard USS Helena (CA 55) and USS Rochester (CA 124). After duty at the Millington, Tennessee, Naval Air Station Band, he was assigned as an instructor at the School of Music and,

36th International Saxophone Symposium

Navy Saxophone Symposium to return

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By Chief Musician Adam Grimm

he International Saxophone Symposium, hosted by the United States Navy Band, returns Jan. 9-10, 2015, after being canceled in 2014 due to budget cuts resulting from sequestration. The symposium will take place at Shenandoah University and the Patsy Cline Theater, both in Winchester, Virginia. “We’re absolutely thrilled to bring the symposium back, where we can connect not only with our local

COUNTRY CURRENT

in 1960, as a trombonist at the U.S. Navy Band. After filling many positions at the band, his last assignment was as chief in charge of the Concert Band. He was influential in guiding the decision to make the Commodores jazz ensemble a separate performing group and played in the Commodores’ trombone section for a couple of years before his retirement in 1973. Palmer is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, two brothers, three sons and a daughter, 10 grandchildren and three greatgrandchildren.

communities, but with folks who come in from all around the country to attend,” said Capt. Brian O. Walden, the Navy Band’s commanding officer. The two-day event, first hosted by the Navy Band in 1978, features a mix of performances, masterclasses and lectures designed for musicians of all ages. Highlighting the prominence of the saxophone in both classical and jazz literature are the two marquee concerts on Friday and Saturday nights. Both concerts feature guest artists as soloists. Traditionally, Friday night’s concert features the Navy Concert Band with a mixture of band pieces and classically-oriented saxophone solos. In previous years, soloists with the Concert Band have included Branford Marsalis, Donald Sinta, Claude Delangle, Frederick Hemke, Steven Mauk, Jean-Yves Fourmeau, Chien Kwan-Lin, retired Master Chief Musician Dale Underwood and many others. Saturday night’s concert features the Commodores jazz ensemble and guest soloists in an evening of big band and jazz music. Soloists with the Commodores have included Eddie Daniels, Chris Potter, Grover Washington, Jr. and Branford Marsalis. In 2003, the Navy Band established the symposium’s College Quartet Series as a way to feature college and university performers. Throughout the symposium, university quartets are featured in their own recitals. The 2013 symposium featured quartets from 21 colleges and universities. ff

Happened upon the @USNavyBand’s country music band playing last night at @USCapitol. Wow! Incredible musicianship. -@davebaiocchi (Twitter)

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A Navy Band Summer continued...

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COUNTRY CURRENT

Great night listening to the @usnavyband’s Country Current perform on the Capital Steps!

-@VTjawo (Twitter)

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Star-Spangled banner continued... House of Representatives between 1910 and 1930 either died in committee or were not brought up for debate. On Jan. 31, 1930, a bill introduced by Rep. J. Charles Linthicum of Maryland was brought before the House Judiciary Committee for discussion. To address the “singability” of the anthem, the Navy Band was brought before the committee to perform it with a civilian soprano vocalist (there were no singers in the Navy Band at that time). This successful performance settled the matter. After more hearings and amendments, the bill was passed by the House and was sent to the Senate. On March 3, 1931, it was adopted by the Senate and signed by President Herbert Hoover the same day. Finally, 126 years after its composition and 155 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, “The Star-Spangled Banner” was recognized as the official national anthem. The story doesn’t end there, however. Several conflicting arrangements of the anthem were circulating at that time, and no regulation or standard practice had been adopted regarding its performance. On March 4, 1925, President Calvin Coolidge signed a special act of Congress to rename the Navy Yard Band the U.S. Navy Band, establishing it as the premier band of the U.S. Navy. Chief Musician Charles Benter was designated the new leader of the Navy Band and, in September 1926, “Benter’s National Air Book” was published to replace previous editions of national “airs” or anthems and patriotic pieces. An order Meritorious Service Medal MUCM Joe Brown

was issued in January 1927 that Benter’s book “will replace all publications now in use and will be used by all bands in rendering National Airs.” Sousa himself admitted that his previous publication of national airs was obsolete and should be replaced. It is beyond the scope of this article to go into detail about the circuitous and bureaucratic route the music took to arrive at an “official” arrangement. Indeed, the debate about which service band’s version was the “official” version would continue through World War II. At one point, even President Franklin Roosevelt got involved and had his aide call Lt. Cmdr. Charles Brendler, leader of the Navy Band, directing him to stop playing a version that included trumpet flourishes. After much debate and compromise, an official arrangement used by the U.S. Navy Band was finally authorized for all Navy and Marine Corps bands in April 1955. That “The Star-Spangled Banner” is so much a part of our cultural landscape today is a testament to Key’s poem. Much like the flag that flew over Fort McHenry that September dawn in 1814, it has survived many battles. The stanza that we sing today doesn’t champion a country’s military might or brag about its greatness in battle, but instead asks questions that compel all to answer: does the banner endure “through the perilous fight”? Does it yet wave, no matter the conflict, “O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?” ff

Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal

Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal

Lt. j.g. Bruce Mansfield MUCS Juan Vazquez, MUC Gunnar Bruning, MUC Curt Duer

MU1 Jeremy Saunders

COMMODORES

Big crowd for the US Navy Jazz Band #Commodores at #BlackRock Center for the Arts. @usnavyband

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-@bioitbob (Twitter)


Spotlight on... Chief Musician Patrick White by Chief Musician Cynthia Wolverton

Serving as leading chief petty officer of Country Current and musical director of the bluegrass unit is Chief Musician Pat White. Whether it’s on fiddle, mandolin, or vocals, he has been delighting Navy Band audiences for 19 years. Tell us a little about your musical background. I grew up in Williamsport, Maryland, and started playing the violin at age 7. My parents immediately enrolled me in classical violin lessons. I studied privately and performed in the all-county/all-state orchestras in Maryland. When not playing classical violin, I taught myself to play by ear and refined that skill by learning as much as possible about changes and improvisation. I also expanded from playing only violin and at 15 taught myself guitar and mandolin, which I still play professionally. What is a typical day for you? There really is no typical day, since our performance schedule varies so much. If we don’t have a gig, Country Current will usually rehearse in the morning. As leading chief, my afternoons are spent handling administrative details for the unit and making sure day-to-day operations are running smoothly. I usually try to go for a run somewhere in town before heading home. Could you share two highlights during your time with the band? Considering I’ve been in the band for 19 years it’s surprising that my two highlights both happened very recently. Two years ago the New Orleans Saints requested Country Current to come to the Superdome and perform a halftime show for 78,000 fans. That was a very exciting six minutes! Another career highlight was being invited to perform on the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. This is definitely one of the biggest honors a country/bluegrass musician could ever hope for! What extra roles do you perform with the band? In addition to being the leading chief of Country Current, I am also the musical director of the bluegrass

unit. I program all of our shows, direct rehearsals, and arrange and write new music. My song “Old Ironsides” was featured in the documentary “America’s Ship of State-USS Constitution” produced by Defense Media Activity and is played daily at the USS Constitution Chief Musician Patrick White Museum in Boston. Additionally, I serve as assistant command fitness leader, helping administer our command’s physical readiness program. I also like to stay active with CPO 365 (the Navy’s training program for first class petty officers and new chiefs) and this time of year is always exciting when we recognize our new chief selects! What music are you currently listening to? Recently I have abandoned the pop radio station my kids make me listen to for country music stations. As we prepare for our fall tour, I’m trying to identify current music and gather new material for the band to program on tour. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working? I have been coaching soccer for seven years and currently work with a U14 Division 1 team. It keeps me very busy but it is very rewarding. I am also an avid outdoorsman, so if you don’t find me on stage performing you can be assured I’m either on a soccer pitch, on the water, or in the woods! ff

Chief and Sailor of the Quarter Apr-Jun 2014 MUC Mike Shelburne MU1 Susan Kavinski

FOURTH OF JULY

My favorite part of the 4th in DC had to be the @usnavyband!! #legitmusicians&vocalists #weweregettindown #happy4th -@bhouston17 (Twitter)

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

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Fanfare (September/October 2014)  
Fanfare (September/October 2014)  

200th anniversary of our national anthem; Saxophone Symposium returns; Spotlight on Pat White

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