Monday, November 12, 2012

A Blue Ridge Birthday

MU1 Nicholas R. Cooper
by MU1 Nicholas R. Cooper
The Commodores arrived at their first stop in North Carolina today. Nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville, North Carolina was absolutely stunning. With the nearly perfect weather, you could see for miles. The band began the day by performing a jazz clinic for the students of McDowell High School, and the children were very enthusiastic with some great questions for the band.

The highlight of the clinic was our sponsor, Lloyd Weinberg, trading solos with Commodore's unit leader Senior Chief Musician Phil Burlin. Mr.Weinberg was Phil's junior high school band director and his first private saxophone instructor. Mr. Weinberg was responsible for turning Phil onto jazz in 1972, and the rest is history. Mr. Weinberg served as a Musician Third Class in the Navy music program from 1964-1968, and he was a member of the first graduating class of the School of Music at Little Creek, VA. The concert was also very special for Senior Chief Musician Steve Williams as he stood in front of our audience and gave a touching speech for his mother, Louise Williams, who was attending the evening's concert. Steve closed his speech by having everyone in attendance sing "Happy Birthday" to his mother who turned 80 on Halloween of 2012. Happy Birthday, Mrs. Williams!!

About the Author

MU1 Nicholas R. Cooper,a native of Phoenix, Ariz., joined the Navy Band in July 2005. He currently plays lead trumpet in the Commodores.

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