June 27, 2014

Band Camp Recital Night...

It was so good to see Captain (soon-to-be-Major) Michelle Rakers, USMC, at
Handsome's Adult Band Camp at Allegheny College this week. Thursday night was
 recital night for each of the band sections. Michelle is conducting the band this
 week, but Thursday night she was able to take the night off to listen to and play music.
 
Handsome and I were glad to see her again, after not being able to travel last year. 
Her upcoming promotion was cause for us to celebrate with her, too! Michelle
is currently Assistant Director of the Marine Band in Washington, D.C., 
"The President's Own". 
Hers is a prestigious job, to be sure! With her promotion to Major, 
she will gain additional responsibilities with the band.
Of course, Handsome wanted a photo with Michelle.
 
We've both become very fond of her. Not only is she a stellar musician, but she's
 a great person with a contagious energy and enthusiasm. She's a lot of fun, too!
This was one of the A.P.E. performances. (Adult Percussion Ensemble. lol) They
 actually did two numbers, one of which was arranged by our good Florida friend,
 Jim Roytz. The piece is a set of variations on "When Johnny Comes Marching Home".
 
Jim and Handsome perform together with the Suncoast Community Band in 
Sarasota. We love spending time with Jim and his wife, who is also an 
accomplished musician. Jim is a percussionist and Diane plays the trumpet. 
 
The piece was really lovely, and naturally, highlighted the various parts of the 
percussion section of the band. The band "heartbeat" musicians were a joy to watch.
 There was also a German-American Band ensemble which had us in 
stitches. Michelle joined their group and played cornet. She was obviously 
having a great time, and I actually have videos to prove it! (I especially like 
how she pointed out to her stand-mate where they were in the piece!) 
I just had to get a picture of her in the official G-A ensemble t-shirts, too.
 
Handsome played cymbals with the German-American band, along with 
Barbara Bailey (widow of famous percussionist, Buster Bailey), and well-
known bass drummer, Doug McCleod. I asked permission to be able to
tell you that in this photograph there is a total of 247 years between them!
(Doug is 92, Barbara is 85 and Handsome is 70!!!) Their resumes are just
as impressive as they are. We always look forward to seeing them, either
here in Allegheny or when they travel south to perform in Florida.

Last night was their whole band concert. I'll have photographs to share 
on Monday as we prepare to depart Meadville and turn toward Wisconsin.
DonnaAcornSignature

2 friends clicked here to leave a note for me:

Buttons said...

I look forward to meeting Michelle next time the band is here in Vermont . We have seen them on several occasions. Michael Colburn lives the next town over from us. :)

laurajane said...

Great pictures Donna,glad you're having a good holiday.
Laura x

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