Tag Archives: Ian Chaava

Sextet at Marine Corps Marathon

On 30 October 2011, a sextet from the National Capital Band braved cold temperatures and an early-morning call time to provide music for the annual Marine Corps Marathon in the Washington, DC area. The marathon is one of the largest in the United States, with more than 21,000 participants. The sextet was positioned at the four-mile mark of the course, which winds through the monuments and historic locations in Washington and the close-in Virginia suburbs.

Sextet at Marine Corps Marathon

Sextet at Marine Corps Marathon

The sextet consisted of David Delaney (cornet), Ian Chaava (cornet), Chris Dennard (horn), Kevin Downing (trombone), Steve Kellner (euphonium) and John Reeves (tuba). They played a mixture of patriotic and Salvation Army tunes, and reported that many of the runners expressed their appreciation as they came by. The sextet was on duty for the entire race, not leaving their formation until the “straggler buses” came by at the rear of the field.

Sextet at Marine Corps Marathon

Sextet at Marine Corps Marathon

Personnel News - September 2011

The National Capital Band (Bandmaster Dr. Steve Kellner) begins the 2011 – 2012 season by welcoming a number of new members. In a new initiative for this season, intended to clarify and formalize to some degree the requirements for membership in the band, each member and potential member received an invitation email from the band’s executive officer, Major James Allison, in August.

Band Sergeant Dave Downing, one of the longest-serving members in the history of the National Capital Band, has had to step away from participation as a player because of a condition caused by medical treatment. However, he will still be a member of the band in a support role and will continue in his role as Band Sergeant.

In the cornet section, the band welcomes Bill Bamford on solo cornet. Bill has recently joined the finance department at Divisional Headquarters, and attended the Band Retreat after having started his new job only the day before! Also, Ian Chaava has moved from euphonium to solo cornet after having demonstrated his talents on that instrument at the NCV Music Conservatory during the summer. The band is fortunate to have such a versatile player in the ensemble.

Captain Cathie Burleigh, corps officer in Harrisonburg, Virginia, has joined the band on first cornet. Rachel Wiley, whose parents were appointed to Divisional Headquarters in the latest round of officer moves, has been invited as a provisional member in the second cornet section.

The addition of two members in the solo cornet section allows Chris Dennard to move to flügelhorn. Chris has previously occupied this chair in the band, most notably during the 2007 tour of Switzerland and France.

In the baritone section, Anthony Randolph, who is from Richmond, Virginia, has been invited as a provisional member.

The principal euphonium chair is now occupied by Joel Collier. Hailing from Philadelphia, Joel has begun work on a Master of Euphonium Performance degree at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Captain Amy Reardon remains in the euphonium section and, as mentioned above, Ian Chaava has moved to solo cornet.

In the bass section, the band is glad to welcome back John Reeves, who was on a leave of absence last season while he was serving in Iraq. He returns to his seat on B-flat tuba. Also joining the band on B-flat tuba is Jim Shiels, who has recently moved from St. Louis to Richmond, where he has already been commissioned as bandmaster of the Richmond Citadel Band. On E-flat bass, Captain Tim Delaney, appointed as Divisional Youth Secretary in June, has joined the ensemble.

Second Annual Youth Band Day

For the second consecutive year, the National Capital Band (Bandmaster Dr. Steve Kellner) held a Youth Band Day in the Washington, DC metro area. This year’s event was held at the Eugene B. Casey Center for Worship and Service (Montgomery County Corps) in Germantown, Maryland, on Saturday, 2 April 2011, with more than 65 young people and other music students in attendance.

The NCB has established this as an annual event to showcase the young people of the area, providing them with specialized instruction and an opportunity to perform in a public concert. This is in addition to the continuous support given to local music programs given by NCB members throughout the year – in fact, each group featured in the Grand Concert at the end of the event was led by a member of the National Capital Band.

Bandmaster Kellner showing breathing exercises

Bandmaster Kellner showing breathing exercises

The event began with a combined session in the Corps hall, where Bandmaster Kellner gave a short talk on proper breathing for brass players and warm-up techniques. The assembled students were then divided into a number of classes, with members of the National Capital Band as instructors. Each student was provided with a packet, graded according to their current level of musical skill, which was used by the instructors during the classes.

Kevin Downing (right) gives a trombone lesson

Kevin Downing (right) gives a trombone lesson

After the classes, which were 75 minutes in length, the groups adjourned to the gymnasium for lunch. Following the meal, each participating youth band was given a rehearsal space, with approximately an hour of time to rehearse their items for the event’s finale, the Grand Concert.

The Grand Concert began with the National Capital Band playing The Risen Savior (Paul Kellner), followed by words of welcome from Major Jonathan McBride, corps officer of the host corps, and a prayer from NCB euphoniumist Ian Chaava.

David Mersiovsky teaches a cornet class

David Mersiovsky teaches a cornet class

The body of the concert consisted of performances by a number of youth bands from corps in the Washington, DC metro area, beginning with the group from Alexandria Citadel. This ensemble, led by Bandmaster David Downing, played Kearny Youth (Stephen Bulla) and Hand Me My Trumpet (Ivor Bosanko). Next up were the MoCo First Timers, led by Bandmaster David Delaney. They presented a medley, Amazing Grace & Onward Christian Soldiers (arr. David Mersiovsky).

Following another item from the National Capital Band, Deep River (William Broughton), the next two youth bands presented their items. First was the group from the Solomon G. Brown Center (Southeast Corps), led by Bandmaster Danielle Ashton, playing Alleluia and When the Saints Go Marching In. Next up were Bandmaster David Mersiovsky and the group from the Fredericksburg Corps. They presented a medley, Ode to Joy & Hot Cross Buns in the Minor (arranged by Bandmaster Mersiovsky) and a short rendition of God Is So Good.

Bandmaster David Downing conducts the group from Alexandria Citadel

Bandmaster David Downing conducts the group from Alexandria Citadel

Once again, the National Capital Band presented an item as the youth bands exchanged places, this time offering Bandmaster James Anderson’s timeless arrangement of Jesus Loves Me. First up in this set was the band from the Fairfax Corps, led by Bandmaster Scott Bedio, playing The HCB Opus (S. Bedio), an exposition on “Hot Cross Buns”. The final local group to perform was the Montgomery County Corps Band, under the direction of Bandmaster David Delaney. Although not technically a youth band, this group has a high percentage of young people. They offered Morning Glory (James Anderson).

The concert ended with two special items. The National Capital, augmented by ten of the most advanced students, played God’s Children (William Himes). Then all of the students formed a massed band in front of the platform. With the NCB as accompaniment, they presented William Himes’ arrangement Classics in Brass as the finale to the day. Following a benediction by NCB executive officer Major James Allison, the NCB capped the event with a postlude, Goldcrest (James Anderson).

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.

Weekend of Hope in Lynchburg

The National Capital Band (Bandmaster James B. Anderson) traveled to the city of Lynchburg, Virginia for a ministry weekend, 2 – 3 May, 2009. The primary reason for the band’s visit was the celebration of the opening of a new Salvation Army facility in Lynchburg, the Center of Hope. Located next to the existing Lynchburg Corps building on Park Avenue, this center replaces aging shelter and other buildings in the city.

The first event of the weekend was Community Appreciation Concert, held at the Heritage United Methodist Church. The concert, which was free to the public as an expression of the Salvation Army’s appreciation for the large amount of community support for the Center of Hope Project, generated a near-capacity audience of 350.

Despite being somewhat hampered by an unusual seating formation, forced by the unusual shape of the platform at the church, the NCB gave a strong performance, commencing with Dudley Bright’s mixture of Tudor English and contemporary Christian melodies, In Good Company. Following an invocation and words of welcome from Major David Cope, commanding officer in Lynchburg, the band continued with the festival march Rolling Along (William Himes).

The first soloist feature of the evening was the exciting euphonium solo The Better World, played with dexterity and sensitivity by Sam Funkhouser. This was followed by William Himes’ re-telling of the story of the battle of Jericho in words and music, Jericho Revisited, featuring Captain Michael Harris as narrator.

A large part of the ministry of the National Capital Band is the personal commitment of the members to their faith. A feature of most NCB concerts is a personal testimony by one of the members. On this occasion, one of the younger members of the band, Ian Chaava, gave a short but moving presentation. Following Ian’s testimony, another feature item was presented, the cornet trio Sweetest Name (Howard W. Evans), with soloists David Delaney, Chris Dennard and David Mersiovsky. The first half of the program concluded with Musicmaker, Peter Graham’s tribute to the musical contributions of General John Larsson.

Following the intermission, the NCB started off the second half of the program with Bandmaster Anderson’s march Goldcrest, many of the audience singing along with the theme “I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy.” This was followed by what might be considered the major work of the evening, another offering by William Himes, the suite To the Chief Musician. This demanding work again showed the narration skills of Captain Michael Harris, used the band for chanting and singing, and featured Christina Anderson as vocal soloist in the second movement.

The trombone section was featured in the next item, Wonders Begin (Ray Steadman-Allen). Following this, the band moved into “swing mode” for Leonard Ballantine’s arrangement of the spiritual Wade in the Water. The band’s Executive Officer, Major James Allison, gave a short devotional message after this item.

The concert concluded, as do many NCB concerts, with patriotic music, beginning with William Gordon’s arrangement of God Bless America. This was followed by a medley of songs associated with the United States military, Armed Forces Salute (Stephen Bulla). This piece, which includes the songs associated with the five branches of the US Armed Forces (Air Force, Coast Guard, Army, Navy and Marines), is often featured on NCB programs. The band’s tradition is to have members of the audience who are current or former members of the military stand as the song for their branch is played to receive the recognition of the audience. This is a popular part of the NCB concerts, and this time was no exception.

Following the benediction, the band gave the final patriotic number, perhaps the most recognized of all American marches, John Philip Sousa’s The Stars and Stripes Forever. The audience responded with a standing ovation, and the band played the march Motondo as an encore.

On Sunday morning, the NCB conducted worship services at the Lynchburg Corps. The holiness meeting was celebratory in nature, keeping in step with the theme of the weekend. The band presented Bound for the Promised Land (Paul Drury) and Our God Reigns (James Anderson) as preliminary items. Following some words of welcome and the taking of the offering, the congregation participated in singing Crown Him with Many Crowns (with the band accompanying using Charles Skinner’s stirring arrangement) and Shout to the Lord. Sam Funkhouser gave an excellent personal testimony detailing his journey from faith to doubt and returning to an even stronger faith.

The Scripture lesson of the morning, John 21:15–22, was preceded by David Delaney’s sensitive playing of the cornet solo I’d Rather Have Jesus (arr. William Himes). Following the Scripture reading, the trombone section was featured in Goff Richards’ arrangement of I Will Follow Him, as featured in the film “Sister Act”. This item was specifically requested by the speaker for the morning, Major James Allison, fitting in perfectly with the sermon entitled Jesus Said, “Follow Me”. Following the sermon and altar call (which featured a moving vocal solo by Kirby Crews of the Lynchburg Corps), the meeting concluded with the congregation and band joining together for O Boundless Salvation, with the band playing William Himes’ arrangement of the Founder’s Song. As a postlude, the band ended the morning service with The Father’s Blessing (Kenneth Downie).

The final event of the weekend, a ribbon-cutting and dedication of the new Center of Hope building, was unfortunately driven indoors by heavy rains. However, the use of the Lynchburg Corps gymnasium in no way detracted from the celebration. During the ceremony there were remarks by members of the local Advisory Board and others closely associated with the fund-raising and construction of the $5,000,000 Center of Hope, and a proclamation from the office of the Mayor of Lynchburg, who could not attend due to being on an out-of-town trip, but was ably represented by the Deputy Mayor. The program also featured a vocal solo sung by Major Debbie Cope. The band supported the ceremony with Dance Before the Lord (Peter Graham) presented as a special item, and also provided some music before and after the ceremony, including Joyful, Joyful, The Southern Cross (Brian Bowen), Blessings (Nick Simmons-Smith), The Lord Is Gracious, Motondo and several other items.

Taken all together, the band considered this as one of the best ministry weekends in recent years, well-planned and executed. For budget reasons, the band was not able to hire a coach for the trip, as had been the practice in previous years. Thanks are due to the Arlington Citadel Corps for providing two small buses to transport band members from the Washington area, the Fairfax Corps for providing a van to the Arlington Corps allowing them to release one of the buses, the Washington Metro Area Command for providing the equipment truck, and especially to NCB members Noel Morris, Keith Morris and John Reeves, who volunteered to drive for the weekend.