The National Capital Band (Bandmaster James Anderson) traditionally begins each season with a retreat held at Camp Happyland. This year, the retreat was held on 11 – 12 September. The retreat is a time for the members of the band to participate in some intense rehearsals, trying out new items for the season’s repertoire, and also spiritual and social refreshment through fellowship.
The retreat is also a time for new or potential members to be introduced to the band and its mission. This year, the band welcomed Frank Maki, who learned about the band via the Internet and has been communicating with Bandmaster Anderson through the summer. Although he had never played the cornet before, Frank is an experienced trumpet player. The band also welcomed Major Linda Penhale, recently appointed to the Divisional Headquarters, to the horn section. Also joining the horns was Esther Kim, who is a member of the Landmark Corps. With both of the band’s euphonium players moving away from the area over the summer, the band welcomed back Captain Amy Reardon, who served briefly in the baritone section last season. Also playing euphonium was a former member of the band, Steve Kellner. Kellner is retired member of is United States Marine Band and served with the NCB at various times during the 1970s and 1980s.
As usual, Bandmaster Anderson put the band through its paces during the three rehearsals, with a total of fifteen different items being played in whole or in part. Most of these will become part of the band’s repertoire for the 2009 – 2010 season.
One of the great strengths of the National Capital Band is its spiritual basis, which is reinforced and encouraged by the Band Chaplain, Captain Mike Harris, and the Executive Officer, Major James Allison. Major Allison provided a thoughtful devotional on Saturday morning and Captain Harris announced the initiation of a new prayer initiative within the band.
Following lunch on Saturday, about twenty members of the band traveled about 40 minutes to Lake Anna, where retired NCB member Don Stewart and his wife Lela have a home on the lake shore. The members of the band had a grand time boating and riding Jet-Skis, provided by the hosts. This has become one of the traditions of the annual retreat, and the band thanks the Stewarts for their hospitality and generosity as hosts.
Brass Crest Staff Report