Here's some chamber groups over the years. The aircraft pictured is the X-47B--the actual one that made the first unmanned landing and takeoff from an aircraft carrier. We were at Patuxent River Naval Air Station to play a change of command ceremony. The monument the tuba quartet is posing with is the Mexican War Midshipmen Monument. In the picture I have my 90's glasses on is the ship's bell of the WWII carrier Enterprise (CV-6). It's rung during morning colors ceremonies and it sounds fantastic.
Concert and Marching band from around 1999.
Here are three more venues at the Naval Academy: Mahan Hall, Dahlgren Hall, and Memorial Hall. Mahan Hall is my favorite place to play on the Yard--it sounds great in there. For many years we performed our annual holiday concert here (pictured here), but demand is so great for the concert, we've played it in the chapel since 2012. Dahlgren Hall is configured for a Marine Mess Night ceremony. Where all those tables are set up used to be where the ice skating rink was, but that moved to a different building in 2007. We'll play various ceremonies here and it also serves as a weather-alternate site for some marching evolutions. Peeking over my stand is Memorial Hall. I spend a lot of time in here with a brass quintet or small ceremonial band supporting retirement ceremonies. It's a beautiful room with a very solemn purpose.
Work for the Navy takes up the majority of my time; however, I do get out and freelance whenever I can. Here I am wearing a kilt to go play with Bayfield Brass at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. It's really just an excuse to wear a dress, hang with the fellas, and drink an IPA well before noon. A slightly more resonant environment is the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore. Every year I'm fortunate to be asked to play "Holiday Brass," a fundraiser for the International Women's Brass Conference. Great gig, great hall, and great people. All the empty seats are from my last DMA recital at the University of Maryland. Plenty of seats are still available. . .
When we had a Concert Band at work, this is one of many places we played during the summer--the Annapolis City Dock. July in Maryland can get a bit warm and 7:00 concerts after the sun had beaten on those bricks all day were quite toasty, but usually there was a nice breeze blowing off the water and a thousand or so folks enjoying the music. This summer (2014) will be the first I haven't played a full concert series since I joined the band in 1996.
These two pictures are from Army/Navy 2013 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. My first Army/Navy game in 1996 was the most brutal, as it was 39 degrees, raining, and we wore our wool bridgecoats and not our water-resistant all-weather coats. I was completely soaked through by the end of the first quarter--ugh. Other fun times were 2002 at East Rutherford, NJ with a pregame temperature of 19 degrees; one year (I forget which) we had a concert that ended (after the gear move) around 10:30pm the night before and our muster to depart for the game was at 0230; and 2003 when there was 6" of snow that fell too late to be cleared from the stadium, so we got to stand in it the whole game. Fun times.
camouflage" music to mask what the President was saying to people while he shook hands after the ceremony. So after baking in the sun for the better part of four-and-a-half hours, now we're sawing down marches while the President greets people. As tuba players do, I took a giant breath to start the tune and instead of getting air, I sucked down some sort of insect. There were only two tuba players on the job, Travis Siehndel and me, and as the insect bit/stung me in the throat, I started gagging and coughing and spat what's left of this thing to my left, directly on Travis' leg. The President was 10 feet from me, Travis was laughing uncontrollably, and I'm waiting for my throat to close up from the sting. At least the President always travels with a medical team. . .
The pictures above and to the right are from Naval Academy Graduation 2014. It's interesting to be so close to so many powerful people. The guest speaker is on rotation of the President, Vice-President, Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. My favorite graduation experience was with President Obama in 2009. His staff had requested 20 minutes of "musical
This bandstand, built in 1922 to replace an earlier gazebo, is named for Charles Zimmerman, the composer of Anchors Aweigh and sixth leader of the Naval Academy Band. We perform on it rarely: a couple of times during Commissioning Week, most notably during the Herndon Monument climb, and also during Parents' Open House Weekends.
We're getting ready to play a "Patriotic Opener"--a brief ceremony to include a few preliminary marches and our National Anthem. This is at Prince George's Stadium, the home of the AA (Eastern League) Bowie Baysox. There was another guest that night. Seth Mitchell was there to promote his upcoming championship title fight.
Naval Academy Dress Parade c. 2012. They're a pretty painless evolution, usually between an hour and an hour and ten minutes. We'll play some marches, our National Anthem, Anchors Aweigh, and The Marines Hymn. Gloves, by the way, are highly overrated. They're made of a slippery polyester and it's almost impossible to flip your music. Probably ought to have it memorized after 18 years. To view a summer parade, click here. (6:00)
KU Tuba People from c.1998. L-R: Sean Chisham, Bill Nazzarro, Me, Kelly O'Bryant, Travis Siehndel, Chris Lair. Those metal rods in the background were an ancient device called "rabbit ears". They were used to receive television broadcasts.