USNA Band Performs with Students

The Naval Academy Band has been spending some quality time with young musicians lately, with our past two concerts featuring students from Anne Arundel County and beyond. 

On April 12, we performed our annual Side-By-Side concert, in which area students perform with the band. This year, the students nearly outnumbered us, as 45 of the top musicians from ten high schools joined us on stage at Severna Park High School to perform a demanding program which included American Overture for Band by Joseph Wilcox Jenkins and Armenian Dances by Alfred Reed. 
USNA Band with Anne Arundel County High School Students
This concert is always a treat for us, as it reminds us of our formidable years as aspiring musicians. In fact, two of our members, MUCS Ray Ascione and MUC Anthony Valerio participated in Side-By-Side when they were students at Broadneck High School and Annapolis High School.

"Rehearsing and performing 'side-by-side' with the USNA Band gave me a glimpse into what it was like to be a professional musician", said MUC Valerio. "It was one of my early experiences that got me interested in pursuing music in college."

On April 19, we performed a concert as part of the Annapolis Music Festival. The concert was held at the beautiful USNA Chapel, which was filled with enthusiastic high school students who had traveled from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York. Eleven of their classmates were chosen by their band directors to join us on stage to perform the John Philip Sousa march, The Washington Post.
Performing with students at the USNA Chapel
With the academic school year coming to an end, we look forward to the fall and upcoming opportunities to reach more students through our education outreach programs.


Brass Quintet "Gold" performs at UNCG

The Naval Academy Band blog is back by popular demand! We've been busy here at the band, and have taken a hiatus from the blog, but our throngs of followers have expressed their disappointment with our lack of updates, so we will do our best to stay current in 2013!

On February 2, our
Brass Quintet “Gold” performed in Greensboro, North Carolina, and group leader and trumpeter MU1 Davy DeArmond has provided us with the following entry:

Last weekend, the USNA Band's Brass Quintet "Gold" performed at the inaugural Carolina Trumpet Fest at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.  
Brass Quintet "Gold"
Our group is lucky in that we have a great time together, which made the five and a half hour drive to Greensboro quite fun. After checking into the hotel, we relaxed in the hotel to unwind from the drive before heading out on the town.  We found a popular restaurant with a local flair, and its famous appetizer, "Fire in the Hole" was a delicious wing dish that we will not soon forget. The week had been busy as we were preparing, not only for our Brass Quintet performance at UNCG, but also for an upcoming performance at the Georgetown Jazz Festival with the Next Wave Jazz Ensemble and a Wind Ensemble concert which took place the previous evening. Therefore, Friday night was a good time for us to decompress from the week and prepare for our performance the next day.

Our performance was at 9 am Saturday morning so we were up and out early. UNCG has a beautiful School of Music and it was buzzing that morning with Carolina Trumpet Fest attendees. The other invited guest artists for the festival were Kevin Finamore, second trumpet in the Dallas Symphony, and Chuck Lazarus, renowned soloist and trumpet player with the Minnesota Orchestra.

Our performance included monumental works by composers David Sampson, Ralph Vaughn Williams and Anthony DiLorenzo as well as music from members of our group. We opened the concert with the world premiere of MU1 Chris Buchanan's "USNABQ Opener" and also played arrangements by both MU1 Buchanan and MU1 Clint Woltering.  MU1 Buchanan arranged
Suite no. 7 from Johann Hermann Schein's Banchetto Musicale and MU1 Woltering arranged the third movement of Paul Hindemith's Symphonic Metamorphosis. It is so nice to be a part of an organization with such talented musicians!

During the recital we opened up the floor to questions. The attendees were interested to hear about the Naval Academy and the Naval Academy Band. After the recital, we talked to many of them about the USNA, USNA Band, and the Navy Music Program, while handing out outreach materials and recent recordings of the band.

Unfortunately we had to head back to Annapolis that day....a short and sweet trip. We are fortunate to share our music and experience with aspiring musicians. Thus began the spring for BQ "Gold". Stay tuned to hear about our upcoming adventures, including our upcoming performance at the University of Kentucky Brass Fest in March!


New USNA Band Recordings

The Naval Academy Band has been busy in the recording studio. Please check out the media page on our website and take a listen! 

Stay tuned for more audio clips, and please also visit our YouTube page to see video clips of the USNA Band.



Congratulations to our Sailor of the Quarter, MU1 Jason Broadwater, and Senior Enlisted of the Quarter, MUC Joe McCarthy. Great work, gentlemen!
LCDR Trzcinski and MU1 Broadwater
LCDR Trzcinski and MUC McCarthy


Brass Quintet "Gold" Performs at ITG

Led by Musicians First Class Davy DeArmond and Chris Buchanan on trumpet, The Naval Academy Band’s “Gold” Brass Quintet traveled to Columbus State University in Georgia on May 23 to perform at the International Trumpet Guild’s annual conference. Rounding out the quintet were Musicians First Class Nathaniel Willson on horn, Clint Woltering on trombone, and Travis Siehndel on tuba. With Commissioning Week festivities in full effect, it was a very quick trip, but well worth the effort and the quintet was thrilled to perform at this significant event.

Some unexpected excitement hit when we landed in Atlanta and one bag had been mishandled by the airline. Typically, this wouldn’t be a big deal for an overnight trip. But when that bag holds a uniform that will be worn by one of our trumpet players during our performance, it becomes a bigger deal. We decided to carry on in hopes that the uniform would be delivered later that day by the airline.

After making an important stop for lunch that included such local delicacies as sweet tea, barbeque and Brunswick stew, the quintet arrived in Columbus for a sound check in the beautiful River Center for the Performing Arts. The building features a beautiful hall and we were feeling good for our performance the following day.

The only thing left to do was check in to our lodging and wait for the airline to deliver our lost bag. If only life was that simple.

After many calls to the airline, the bag finally arrived at the airport at 11:30 pm. Chris and Davy hopped in the van, made a trip back to Atlanta for the bag, and by 2:30 am we had five musicians and five uniforms.

Our performance began the next morning at 9:30. In a lucky twist, the opening act for our performance was the Ohio State University’s Trumpet Ensemble. This group included Matt Harriman, who will leave for boot camp very soon to join the Band as our newest hire on trumpet. Matt and his group sounded fantastic and it was a great opener for our performance. We look forward to him joining us in Annapolis!

Our program featured Entrance by David Sampson, Circus by Clint Needham, Michael Kamen’s Quintet, The Florentiner March by Julis FucĂ­k, Street Song by Michael Tilson Thomas and Escape by close friend of the quintet, Kevin McKee.
Brass Quintet "Gold" at the River Center for the Performing Arts
We had a great audience that was comprised primarily of our professional peers and college students who are preparing for careers in music. Playing for such a discerning audience always increases the pressure, and the quintet rose to the occasion. The review of the performance included praise for the ensemble’s “technical wizardry” and “melodic storytelling.”

Be sure to check out the Kennedy Center’s website for an archived recording of the same program performed in April.

Submitted by MU1 Travis Siehndel


MU1 Travis Siehndel's Epic Adventure

The US Navy is currently working hard to promote a “lifestyle of fitness” and members of the Naval Academy Band are taking this initiative to heart. In addition to regular individual participation in workouts around the Yard that include noon-hour basketball games, weight-lifting, and cardio sessions, many band members are pushing the limits of their fitness by entering all types of athletic endurance events.

Recently, Musician First Class Travis Siehndel completed his first 24-hour event at the Rev3 Epic Adventure race in Luray, VA. This grueling event included nearly 20 miles of paddling a canoe in the beautiful Shenandoah River, 50 miles of mountain biking, and 20 miles of running/trekking through the back-country of the Appalachian Mountains with only the help of a map and compass.  MU1 Siehndel teamed up with longtime friend and member of the US Army Band, Staff Sergeant Jesse Tubb, to form team Lost in the Woods and tackle this challenging event.
Siehndel and Tubb, preparing for their Epic Adventure
The race started at 9:30 am when racers climbed into their canoes to begin the 19-mile paddle. Through dumb luck, cunning strategy or physical endurance, Team Lost in the Woods exited the water leading the race in first place. Being experienced cyclists, they cruised through the next mountain biking segment before grabbing their map, compass, and running shoes and heading out to navigate their way through a series of check points. The team finished the trekking portion of the race leading their division, having lost ground only to a few 4-person elite teams that were competing to win points towards a national championship.
Team Lost in the Woods
At this point, the racers packed up provisions for the next 12 hours of the event that would take place at night, deep in the backcountry of Massanutten Mountain. This leg of the race included mountain biking, trail running, and bushwhacking to a series of check points. To make the race more interesting, as the sun was setting, the temperature dropped quickly from a daytime high of 85 to the low 50s. It also started raining. They don’t call this an “Epic Adventure” for nothing!

The race continued through the night with a few rookie missteps and mistakes in navigation, but spirits remained high throughout the event, and the team kept moving forward without any significant rest.  Around 3 am, as they were running out of food, dry clothing, and caffeinated beverages, and having cleared all of the course's mandatory checkpoints and most of the optional points, Lost in the Woods decided to head to the finish line. No easy task considering the trip back to the finish included mountain biking over a major climb with difficult terrain that would take nearly two hours. 

Team Lost in the Woods crossed the finish line after nearly 20 consecutive hours of racing and were surprised to learn that they had finished on the podium in third place.  The race field also included two teams of Naval Academy Midshipmen who also finished quite respectably in their divisions.

Stay tuned as the summer progresses for more updates on the athletic accomplishments of more members of the band. Upcoming events include an Ironman Triathlon, the JFK 50-Mile trail run, Ragnar Relay, Marine Corps Marathon and the Shenandoah Mountain 100-mile mountain bike race. A lifestyle of fitness indeed!

Submitted by MU1 Travis Siehndel


UMD Graduation Ceremony

An update on one of our many USNA Band Doctors...here's a photo of MUC Jarrod Williams and his children taken at Sunday's graduation ceremony at the University of Maryland in College Park:
MUC (Doctor) Jarrod Williams