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Personnel News - September 2010

The National Capital Band begins the 2010 – 2011 season with several personnel changes and additions, including a new bandmaster and seven new players.

The most significant change is in the leadership of the band, because of the retirement of Bandmaster James Anderson at the end of last season. Dr. Steve Kellner has been appointed bandmaster, moving from the principal euphonium seat. As a result, Captain Amy Reardon moves into the principal euphonium chair and Ian Chaava moves from first baritone to euphonium.

The band also said farewell to band chaplain and principal tuba Captain Mike Harris at the end of last season as he and his wife were appointed to command the corps at Hickory, North Carolina. Moving into both of these roles is Captain Rob Reardon. Joining the band on E♭ bass is Tamar Murray, who is a student at Montgomery Blair High School, where she is a member of the marching band.

On the low end of the tuba section, John Reeves went on leave of absence for military service during last season and will be unavailable for about 18 months. Filling in for John is Scott Bedio, who was a member of the NCB in the early 1990’s. Scott has been active as an instructor with the Divisional Youth Band and is a member of the Fairfax Corps Band.

Kathleen Jensen and her family recently moved to the Washington area from Atlanta. She joins the National Capital Band as principal horn, with band sergeant Dave Downing moving to first horn (at his own request).

The trombone section, already one of the band’s strengths, has been fortified with the addition of Josh Sears. Josh was a member of the Divisional Youth Band for several years before leaving for studies at Louisiana State University. He has returned to the Washington area after two years at LSU and joins the NCB on first trombone. In addition to his brass band experience, Josh has spent the past few summers as a member of the world class Crossmen drum and bugle corps, based in San Antonio, Texas. The Crossmen are perennial contenders for the Drum Corps International championship, having qualified for the finals 22 times in the past 36 years.

The cornet section also welcomes additional members, on both the front and back row. Last season, the band operated with only three solo cornets for most of the year. Joining the front row this year is Demarr Woods. A graduate of the University of Maryland music program and now a music teacher in Baltimore, Demarr has been a staff member at the NCV Summer Music Conservatory and has played with the NCB on several engagements on a temporary basis in the past few seasons.

On the back row, Ruth Choi comes in on second cornet. Ruth, who is 14, is the youngest current member of the band. She joins her sister, Ellim Choi, and her cousins Esther and Sam Kim, who joined the group in previous seasons.

Finally, Emmanuel Gonzalez joins the percussion section. Emmanuel, who is originally from Venezuela, is an accomplished kit drummer. He is employed at the Arlington Citadel Corps.

Bandmaster Appointed

Major James Allison, Executive Officer, has announced that Dr. Steve Kellner has been appointed as Bandmaster of the National Capital Band.

Kellner’s assumption of the baton, following Bandmaster James Anderson, who announced his retirement at the annual Band Dinner in May, coincides with his employment as an Assistant Divisional Music Director at the Salvation Army’s divisional headquarters in Washington, D.C.

He brings a high level of musicianship and knowledge to the podium, having spent 25 years as a member of military bands, including 11 years as the principal euphonium with the United States Marine Band, known as the “President’s Own”. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Catholic University in Washington and is an instructor at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore and the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland.

The band looks forward to entering a new era under the leadership of Bandmaster Kellner.

Welcome to New Members

At the beginning of the 2009 – 2010 season, the National Capital Band (Bandmaster James B. Anderson) added several new and returning members to the roster.

With both euphonium players moving from the Washington area over the summer, the band is delighted to welcome back Steve Kellner as principal euphonium. Steve, formerly the principal euphonium of the United States Marine Band and now teaching at the Peabody Institute and University of Maryland, was a member of the band at various times during the 1970s and 1980s. He is joined in the section by Captain Amy Reardon, who played in the baritone section briefly at the beginning of the previous season. Amy serves at the Salvation Army National Headquarters with her husband, Rob, who is member of the NCB tuba section.

In the horn section, Antonio Hodges has joined on solo horn. Antonio, who lives in the Tidewater area of Virginia, is traveling a greater distance for rehearsals than any other member of the band. His commitment is greatly appreciated. Also added to the horn section is Major Linda Penhale, who came to Washington in June as the assistant divisional youth secretary, and Esther Kim, a young person who is a part of the Army’s strong Korean ministry in Northern Virginia and displayed her considerable musical talent at the NCV Music Conservatory at Camp Happyland during the summer.

Learning about the National Capital Band through a listing of recordings on the World of Brass web site, Frank Maki contacted Bandmaster Anderson and has been invited to join the cornet section. An experienced trumpet player, Frank has shown himself to be a strong presence on first cornet, despite having not played cornet previously. Paul Deafenbaugh, who joined the band midway through last season, moves from cornet to flügelhorn for this season.

In addition to the new members mentioned above, NCB bass trombone Matt Sims has been named the Deputy Bandmaster, replacing Major Dan Proctor, who was appointed area commander in Oklahoma City over the summer. Matt, hailing from Bristol, England, is the music director for the Richmond Area Command, where he has built a very strong music program in a relatively short period of time.