Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Happy Birthday to Us!

Today, LCDR Dwaine Whitham informs us at Facebook's "Navy Musician" group, marks the 184th anniversary of the earliest evidence of a band aboard a U.S. naval vessel.

Lieutenant Commander Whitham's words, for those without access to Facebook:



From the records in our office; twenty-six years after the birth of our nation a band performed on a United States Ship marking the first recorded occurrence of a band on board one of our naval vessels. Today marks 184 years since the first recorded Navy musician rate. It's interesting that this first recording of a Navy musician was in the deck logs of the USS Constitution, as both have been able to stand the test of time. As with the USS Constitution, our Navy bands have been an icon of our early history, honors, customs, and traditions and continue to play a vital role in the Navy's mission.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Frank's Roster of NMA Members he knew on active duty

NavyLyres began in 2006 as a list of MUs I knew in the Navy, entitled  My Bands and Shipmates. This was soon followed by The Navy Musician's Lexicon. Since then, NavyLyres has grown into...whatever.

Now that I've become active in the Navy Musicians Association, I enjoy new friendships with MUs I never knew. But I was surprised, at my first reunion, by how many NMA members I knew from my active duty days.
So, I'm going back to basics today. Here is a list of NMA members I knew when I was on active duty.

And, as a bonus, I've included a list of NMA members I knew of back then. The Navy Music Program has always been a small community; the guys in Unit Band 73 told stories about guys they'd served with in the COMDESRONPACLANT band.

The boring details:

-- Shipmates I knew at the School of Music are identified according to their status at the time, not mine. Bob Boyer, for instance is identified as "Advanced Course," although I was on staff during his studies. Similarly, Bob and Melanie Leketa are identified as "Staff" because that was their status while I was in the Advanced Course.

-- References to CINCLANT: I was never stationed with the CINCLANT band, thank you Jesus, but I knew many of its bandsmen while stationed on staff at the School of Music. We'd run into each other at official functions, moonlighting gigs and occasionally at the, er, Brass Bell Lounge.

-- References to Seattle: I was stationed at that band only temporarily. (I was also stationed at the U.S. Navy Band for three hours, but that's another story.)

So, here we go.

NMA Members I knew while I was on active duty:
(Those I have met again at NMA reunions are in boldface.)

Joe Arthur - bandmaster, Newport
Karl Alexander - Newport
Ray Ascione - S.O.M.
Dennis Allard - Newport
Mike Beegle - Newport
Diane Beegle - Newport
Bob Boyer - Advanced Course
Dave Beem - Intermediate Course
Dick Brodt - S.O.M. Staff
Mike Burch-Pesses - bandmaster, 7th Fleet Band
Marianne Carlton - Intermediate Course
Terry Chesson - bandmaster, Newport
Doyle Church - San Francisco
Everett Crouse - Advanced Course
Lenny Childs - Intermediate Course
J.J. Connor - Assistant Bandleader, San Francisco
Urban Carvalho - S.O.M. Staff
Skip Clarke - San Francisco
Dave Czohara - Intermediate Course, Newport
Jim Cunningham - San Francisco, Intermediate Course
Pat Daly - Newport
Jack Dye - S.O.M. Staff
John Derby- San Francisco
Pat Daly - Newport? CINCLANT? Help me out here, Pat.
Rich Eastman - Newport, Intermediate Course (?)
Bill Eggleton - School of Music Staff, Training Officer
Phil Field - School of Music CO/XO
Karl Fite - S.O.M. Staff
Bob Gaffney - Basic Course
Don Gamble - Intermediate Course
Bill Gannaway - Advanced Course (while I was in Intermediate)
Paul Geitzenhaur- S.O.M. Staff
Bob Grindle - Advanced Course
Larry Gatewood - S.O.M. Staff
Mark Hammond - CINCLANT, Advanced Course(?)
Rick Holdsworth - Newport
Chuck Harris - San Francisco
Lee Hudson - Newport
Leon Harris- (?)
Ed Henson - San Francisco
Bill Hocke - Advanced Course
Dean Hoyt - Newport
John Hanson - San Francisco, S.O.M Staff
Hal Hessler - Bandmaster, San Francisco
Dave Hodge - Newport
Kim Holl - Intermediate Course, S.O.M. Staff, 7th Fleet Band
Dennis Jansson - Newport
John Johnson - Newport, Intermediate Course (my classmate)
John Jeanquenat - Advanced Course
Don Keller - Basic Course
Frank Kemp - San Francisco, Seattle
Jeff Kolb - Advanced Course (my classmate)
Jim LaFlame - member of National Guard band while I was in Newport
Melanie Leketa - S.O.M. Staff
Bob Leketa - S.O.M. Staff
Gene Lane - San Francisco
Mike Mitchell - S.O.M. Staff
Bob Marquart - San Francisco, Advanced Course, CINCLANT
Jim McCandlish - CINCLANT, S.O.M. Staff
Randy Martell - CINCLANT
Tom Metcalf - S.O.M. XO
Max Murry - Basic Course, Newport
John Pastin - CINCLANT, S.O.M. Staff
Bob Pomerleau - S.O.M. Staff
Tom Parkhurst - CINCLANT
Don Plowman - San Francisco. S.O.M. Staff
Ed Rodgers- S.O.M Staff, Newport, S.O.M. Staff
Dan Richardson - Gigged with Danny (retired) while I was on S.O.M. Staff
Jack Rodway- Newport (retired)
Dana Silvercloud - Newport
Jeff Schortgen - 7th Fleet Band
Wilbur Smith - Newport, TAD S.O.M. Staff
 Fred Stemple - CINCLANT
George Thompson - Newport
Ron Vanhoose - CO, School of Music
Tex Waldron - S.O.M. Staff, Newport bandmaster, Seattle bandmaster
Tom Wholley - Newport, Intermediate Course, 7th Fleet Band
Dave Whitaker - San Francisco, Seattle
Nate Wilensky - Basic Course
Bob Wilson - Intermediate Course (?)

NMA members I knew of while I was on active duty.

(Appearance on this list means you were someone whose name I knew through scuttlebutt, sea stories, slander, etc.)

Nick Annase
Don Blossfield
Larry Callahan
Jerry Clements
Norman Detoy
Sam Flores
Doug Forziati
Ralph Gambone
Jack Geary
Ralph Gambone
John Gattuso
Ben McHorney
Philip Rovenolt
Cal StewartDave Weaver
Warren Weiss
John Bledsoe

Special Mentions:

Two NMA members were on the staff of the School of Music while I was in the Basic and Intermediate Courses. I knew who they were, but did not "know" them. The student body was in awe of the musicianship of Dick Bonenfant and John Fluck, who were regarded as Demigods. Having now become acquainted with these two gentlemen, I now regard them as friends, but, believe me, when an NMA band starts cooking with Dick and John in the rhythm secion, I'm still in awe.

Monday, August 16, 2010

"Home From the Sea" - John Fluck and the School of Music Faculty Lab Band

"Home From The Sea" is a Navy film with a score written by John Fluck and recorded by the Faculty Lab Band at the School of Music in 1969.

John has been kind enough to fill in some of the details. While he wrote and arranged the musical score, the music and lyrics of the song that recurs throughout the film were written by an Army basic student, Julian Harvey.

"Go figure," says John. "We announced a contest in the Plan of the Day for a title song and Harvey's song was the only submission. Luckily, it was a good one."

He points out that the soundtrack was recorded with the the School of Musics legendary state-of-the-art technology. "We played the film on a TV monitor as I conducted the band to get the timing right. We had a microphone in a nearby stairwell for echo on the vocals. High tech!"

The band, at that time, included:

Woodwinds: Ed Hayes, C.J. Landry, Mike Gerych, Mike Masciola and Lou Lanyi.

French Horns: Jack Miller Jim Krueger and Jim Eberhardt.

Trumpets: Marty Conley, Jim Howard, Buzz Sawyer and Dave Perry.

Trombones: Aubrey Tucker, Art Nebel, and Dave Traub.

Tuba: Hal Hessler.

Guitar: Vinnie Tamburino

Piano: Ron Chiles.

Bass: John Peiffer.

Drums: Kenny Malone.

Percussion: Mike Shepherd, percussion.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Great Moments in Navy Leadership, # 43: Jack Dye's lesson in accountability.

As the School of Music's Master Chief Petty Officer of the Command, MUCM Jack Dye's office was across the passageway from the master-at-arms' shack. Whenever the MAA posted a new watch bill, students would gather in the passageway and complain loudly:

"The dog watch again; they can't do that to me."

"They sure can't. It's not fair."

"That's three watches this week--they did it to me again."

Realizing that such students did not appreciate their positions in the military hierarchy, Jack had a special name tag designed. Instead of his name, rank and title, it had only one word on it, spelled out in upper-case letters. The next time a crowd of irate students gathered at the bulletin board, Jack pinned his new name tag onto his shirt and stepped out into the passageway.

A corporal was advising a private to complain about a certain watch. "I'd take this up the chain of command. They can't do that to you."

Jack interrupted the discussion, asking, "Excuse me, men, is there a problem I can help you with?"

The two soldiers, naturally, looked at Jack's name tag to see who was addressing them. Like I said, it had only one word on it: