"The Beacon" Summer 2019 Edition
Our periodic mailing, available here in PDF format:
Due to recent events, security has been heightened at all government installations, including the United States Coast Guard Academy. Please consider allowing a little more time to pass through Academy entrances due to security precautions. As a reminder, please be sure all adults have a valid ID card (driver's license, etc). Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Last September, MU1 Ryan Foley won a highly competitive audition against a field of more than forty flutists from across the country to earn the position of co-principal flute in the Coast Guard Band. Before enlisting in the Coast Guard in March of 2019, MU1 Foley received degrees in flute performance from Brigham Young University and The University of Texas at Austin. Coast Guard Band Newsletter The Beacon sat down with Ryan to catch up with him during his first few months on the job:
BEACON: Where are you from originally and what were you doing just prior to joining the Coast Guard Band?
MU1 Foley: I'm originally from Excelsior Springs, MO, a suburb of Kansas City. Prior to joining the band I had just started an Advanced Musical Studies Certificate at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.
BEACON: What has been your initial impression of life in the Coast Guard Band?
RF: It has been such an exciting and amazing opportunity to be a part of the US Coast Guard Band. It's incredibly rewarding to come to work and make music with world-class musicians on a daily basis.
BEACON: What was your Coast Guard Band audition experience like?
RF: The Coast Guard Band audition was the most organized and comfortable audition that I have taken. Everything was well planned and efficient. It was one of the first auditions I've taken where I actually enjoyed the audition! Everyone's friendly and welcoming demeanor helped me to grow in confidence throughout the three rounds.
BEACON: What do you like to do when you’re not playing the flute?
RF: When I'm not playing the flute I love all things food related! I spend a lot of time baking, cooking, watching cooking shows, and trying out restaurants with my wife. I also love to watch and play soccer and spend time outdoors with our dog Mushu.
Chief Musician Megan Sesma, harp, was honored with a Commandant’s Letter of Commendation in September 2019 for her volunteerism as secretary of the Leadership Development Advisory Council at the Coast Guard Academy, for her role as chief of the Band’s education department, and for her position as harpist with the Band. Additionally, she was a featured performer at the Festival International de Musique Saint-Georges in Guadeloupe.
Musician First Class Joel Baroody earned a Commandant’s Letter of Commendation for his outstanding work as soloist, for providing musical leadership as the Band’s principal trumpet, and for authoring concert program notes for each of the Band’s musical performances in Leamy Hall and beyond that totaled over 100 pages.
Musician First Class Briana Tarby's contributions to the Coast Guard Band were highlighted in a Commandant’s Letter of Commendation presented in September 2019. She created an oboe pedagogy workshop that was selected from among hundreds of applications for presentation at Chicago’s notable Midwest Clinic. Furthermore, she performed as oboe soloist in Jennifer Higdon’s Oboe Concerto and volunteered for numerous events benefitting women across the Coast Guard Academy and further afield.
Chief Musician Greg Case, associate principal saxophone, and Robert Langslet, the Band’s former pianist, were the 2018 recipients of the Sam Hasty Award for Service in the Coast Guard Band. The recipients demonstrated outstanding musical contributions in the service of the US Coast Guard Band and promoted growth in the organization by fostering enjoyment, pride, purpose, community, and achievement. Members of the Band voted to honor Greg and Robert with this distinctive achievement.
Advancements and Promotions
On September 1st, Barrett Seals, oboe and English horn, was advanced to Senior Chief Musician and Laura Pirruccello, piccolo, was advanced to Chief Musician.
On October 1st, the Band’s director Adam Williamson was promoted to Commander.