Cloud eleven

I am home after my third day at TUSAB (that’s Armyspeak for The US Army Band). I’m still in observation mode–just sat and listened during rehearsal yesterday, taking my time getting to know the guys. I’ve been given carte blanche to jump in whenever I feel like it, but I think it’s wise to get a sense of where they are and what they do before I, the young whippersnapper captain, jumps in and tries to change everything. (The Army band program is strange; some of these guys have been in the chorus nearly my entire lifetime. They’ve sung for Presidents, kings, queens, popes (just a few days ago), etc. Some serious international bigwigs ask for soloists like Jon Deutsch and Alvy Powell BY NAME. And yet, lil’ ol’ me is their new director. Unbelievable.)

Having gotten my uniform ready yesterday, I was able to accompany the chorus to their performance this morning IN THE ROTUNDA AT THE CAPITOL BUILDING FOR THE PRESIDENT AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE AS THEY GAVE THE FIRST CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL IN FORTY YEARS TO THE DOCTOR WHO INVENTED THE CONCEPT OF A MASH UNIT. And Wayne Newton was there, too. That sounds like a joke, but it isn’t.

Did I mention this was my third day on the job?

Oh yeah and by the way, the chorus is scary good.

I wish I had pictures, but I have a feeling there will be other opportunities.

0 thoughts on “Cloud eleven

  1. Hi, Just wanted you to know that Wayne Newton has been a dear friend of Dr. Michel DeBakey for many years..starting when Wayne was in his early 20’ that is why he was there. I guess I don’t understand why you would think it would be a joke? Wayne is 66 now and Dr. DeBakey will soon
    be 100 and I guess your age is much younger? Louise Gibbon

  2. The fact that Mr. Newton was in attendance isn’t a joke. I didn’t know about the personal connection between him and Dr. DeBakey, so it struck me as funny. After all, I didn’t attend the ceremony expecting to see a famous entertainer.

    To answer your other question, I’m 36, but many members of the chorus are in their 40s and even 50s, and none of them knew why he was there either. Now I know and I’ll pass it along!

    Thanks for responding!

  3. I know this is the 2nd reply regarding Wayne Newton being present at this celebration. Dr. Debakey was also also a best man at Wayne’s weddding and has been a long time friend. Wayne is a personality who is comfortable in all circles of life. He is real which is why he is an icon in the entertainment industry. Good luck in your postion and I hope you last as long as Wayne.

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