In the Navy

Adele Mayne

Adele Mayne in her official U.S. Navy photograph. Related: Photo slide show at end of story

When the 60 members of the U.S. Navy Concert Band arrived in Greeley for their March 1 performance at the Union Colony Civic Center, only one of them - its newest member - was looking forward to renewing connections she made while attending and teaching at the University of Northern Colorado.

Adele Mayne knew that she wanted to play the clarinet in a military band even before she earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in music from UNC.

The seed was planted when she heard about some of the 20-plus graduates from UNC's music programs known to have gone on to play with one of the nation's military bands. They include Lowell Graham, who in 2002 finished a 30-year career with the U.S. Air Force Band as its conductor.

Then shortly before she finished her bachelor's degree in 2007, she attended a Navy Band concert in Denver with UNC Associate Director of Bands Dick Mayne, who's her father-in-law. The seed germinated.

Adele, who started the clarinet in fifth grade, spent the next three years developing her skills by performing throughout Colorado. She was principal clarinetist of the Boulder Chamber Orchestra and performed regularly with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra and Cheyenne Symphony.

In 2011, the seed bloomed. That's when, after returning to UNC and earning her master's in Instrumental Performance, she was hired as a clarinet instructor in the School of Music and met fellow clarinet instructor and UNC alumna Lauren Jacobson, who'd just completed four years as a member of the U.S Marine Band.

"That's what really had the most impact on my decision," Mayne remembered during a recent telephone interview. "Lauren inspired me to achieve my goal."

So when a rare opening in the Navy Concert Band came up - members receive a permanent duty assignment and most complete at least a 20-year Navy career with the band - Mayne traveled to Washington, D.C., to audition along with what she estimates were 50 other clarinetists.

When she was notified that she'd been selected for the band, Mayne already knew how to find the Navy recruiting office in Greeley and she didn't waste any time enlisting.

But before she could take a coveted seat in the band's woodwind section, she had to pass the same medical physical and go through the same nine-week basic training, or boot camp, required of any Navy enlistee.

Last summer, Mayne and her husband moved to Washington D.C., and she reported for duty at the band's home at the Washington Navy Yard on the banks of the Potomac River. Goal achieved.

In addition to touring one of five designated regions of the U.S. each year, the band performs concerts in the D.C. area, including Virginia and Maryland. Many of them are part of its Music in the Schools program and are held in middle and high schools in the region.

Members of the Concert Band also make up the Navy's Ceremonial Band, which performs music at official military and government events, including funerals at Arlington National Cemetery.

"Playing at Arlington is very special," Mayne said. "It's the best part of my job."

The band's current tour, which started Feb. 12 in Seattle and includes 18 performances in 20 days, included stops at Disneyland and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas before reaching Greeley. It ends with concerts in Denver on March 2 and Longmont on March 3.

It was pure coincidence that Mayne's first tour with the band is bringing her back to Colorado and Mayne is taking advantage of the the opportunity to return to her home state for the first time in nine months. She's scheduled her first leave to start after the tour's final performance and is looking forward to visiting friends, former students and in-laws in Greeley and spending time with the many friends and family members she has in Colorado Springs.

But as soon as the last good-bye is said before flying back to D.C., Mayne will be looking forward with excitement to her next concert.

"I'm proud and happy to be a member of the U.S. Navy," Mayne said. "I hope to be in the band forever; to make a career out of it."

- UNC News Service

Of Note

  • Because the band is supported with tax dollars, all of its performances are free.
  • The Concert Band, the premier wind ensemble of the U.S. Navy, presents a wide array of marches, patriotic selections, orchestral transcriptions and modern wind ensemble repertoire.
  • While it was no coincidence that Adele Mayne's first tour with the band brought her to Colorado, proud father-in-law Dick Mayne set the wheels in motion to bring the group to Greeley by making staff at the UCCC aware of the band's availability.
  • The band travels by bus when on tour. It's newest member said she's been listening to a lot music to help pass the time.
  • As of Feb. 27, a few tickets remained for the U.S. Navy Concert Band's 7:30 p.m. performance at Greeley's Union Colony Civic Center on March 1. Free tickets must be picked up in person; call 970-356-5000 to confirm availability.