One of the great pleasures of traveling across our great country as representatives of the Navy is the opportunity to reconnect with band members who moved on to other interests or retired. Tonight we got to spend some time with former Navy Band trumpet player, Jerry Bryant. Jerry is a terrific artist whose outstanding playing made it possible for him to survive, and even thrive, in the survival-of-the-fittest environment of the freelance musician in New York City. Among his many professional commitments are performing with the New York City Opera and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, and teaching at Kean and Jersey City Universities.
Some of us had the pleasure to grab a bite to eat with Jerry before our concert in Southington, Conn. We were staying in Hartford for our concerts on March 14 and 15, and Jerry was rehearsing with the symphony right across the street. Besides swapping sea stories from past national tours, we were able to fill in some gaps in our respective histories: it’s been six years since Jerry was in the Navy Band. He commented that we all still looked the same, and we commented he was only a haircut and a uniform away from joining back up! We also learned that he and his wife, K.J., had recently welcomed their first child, a beautiful bouncing boy named Joseph. Those of us currently serving in the Navy Band take great pride in our service, and constantly strive to present the most professional music performance possible. It’s nice to know that that pride remains even after moving into civilian life, and Jerry and many others are testament that the qualities of honor, courage and commitment, imbued by service in America's Navy, endure.
Senior Chief Musician Karl Hovey is the principal tuba in the Concert Band.
(Pictured, left to right: Chief Musicians Stan Curtis and Bob Couto, Senior Chief Musician Karl Hovey, Jerry Bryant, and Master Chief Musician Kevin Dines)