Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?


Navy Band Heard by Full House

Tarleton’s main auditorium was almost filled to capacity to hear the 1962 Civic Series concert by the United States Navy Band, which kept the audience enthralled for almost two hours!

The band began by playing The Star Spangled Banner with Ben Mitchell Morris singing the solo. Ben was born in Seattle, Washington, but moved to Houston when he was five years old! He returned to Washington and attended the University of Washington, and later studied voice in San Diego and San Francisco, attaining nothing short of perfection. He was one of the most versatile and popular artists in the band.

The last song of the first half was Sousa’s The Stars and Stripes Forever. The band consisted of many talented soloists on several instruments but perhaps the wildest applause came when Frank Scimonelli played the English post horn, which sounds only three notes and is controlled by lip movements!

Also garnering loud applause was the trumpet trio playing The Brave Matador, with an encore by the entire trumpet section playing Around the World. The concert closed with Anchors Aweigh and a standing ovation!

If you have never heard the United States Navy Band you’ve missed quite a treat! I had the pleasure of hearing the Navy Band at Tarleton when I was in high school and our Granbury High School Band attended! It was a great concert!

JTAC, March 20, 1962, March 27, 1962.