Monday, March 26, 2012

Iowa up close and personal

by Musician 1st Class Daniel Frazelle

Less than a week before returning home, we left Cedar Rapids en route to our concert in Dubuque, Iowa. Though it wasn't a long drive, we were more than happy to arrive at our location and play a concert for a very large audience at the Grand River Convention Center. I admit that when I saw the massive room, I wondered whether or not we would actually fill this performance hall with patrons. Thankfully, by 2 p.m. the hall was filled with enthusiastic concertgoers.

After playing our matinee, we had the rare opportunity to enjoy a full dinner at what would be considered the normal dinner time. On the suggestion of Musician 1st Class Darrell Partin, we dined at the renowned L. May Eatery. To our surprise, the woman filling our water glasses was, in fact, the co-owner of the restaurant! Despite the fact that we spend so much time with everyone in the band, the longer our dinner went on, the more Navy Band members entered the restaurant. It was, in fact, one of the finest meals we've enjoyed on our Midwest tour.

We left more than satisfied with the dinner and moved on to other establishments. One of the funny things about musicians on the road is that we're never quite able to escape our musical roots, even in the most unlikely of places. In our case on Sunday night, we fell into the most unexpected of debates over the harmonic interval that was created between two bottles that we began playing as flutes. Most everyone at the table agreed that the interval between the two bottles was nearly a Perfect 5th, though we had one member who insisted that it was closer to a minor 6th. Not having a way to check it at the time, we took a video, though it was clear by time we left that it was a Perfect 5th, rendering yet another musical mystery solved.

We're looking forward to exploring as much as possible of Dubuque during normal business hours tomorrow, though we certainly won't have as much time as we would like. This fair city has proven to be hospitable and unique and it's a shame we won't be able to spend more time as we move on to Illinois.

Chief Musician Cindy Wolverton and Musicians 1st Class Lauren Cook and Will Kelly also contributed to this article.

About the Author

Musician 1st Class Daniel Frazelle is a native Washingtonian hailing from Alexandria, Va. Prior to joining the Navy Band in 2007, Frazelle earned a Bachelor of Music in music education from James Madison University and a Master of Music in clarinet performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

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