Serving on the High Seas: Navy Musician spent time at YSU
Many people call them "The Worlds Finest" - The U.S. Navy Band. There are multiple performing units throughout the Navy featuring a couple hundred enlisted musicians. One of those musicians perfected his craft right here in Youngstown at YSU's Dana School of Music.
Playing music in the military has always been the goal for Naval Musician Daniel Honeycutt.
"My grandfather was actually a trumpet player in the Army during World War II so that was a big inspiration for me and it provided just a really great way to have a stable career as a full-time musician getting health care, a salary, I mean that is really hard to come by and it's just a way for me to make a living doing what I love," Honeycutt said.
Originally from Maine, Honeycutt finished his undergraduate work at Allegheny College in Meadville Pennsylvania. He then decided to get his Masters at YSU.
"The Dana School of Music had an amazing reputation as one of the best music schools in the area," Honeycutt said. "I took an audition at YSU, they gave me a great offer as a grad assistant and I just jumped on it, it seemed like the right place to be."
Honeycutt called his time in Youngstown amazing, getting to learn under some incredible instructors.
"They had amazing instructors there, I got to study with Dr. Chris Krummel, the trumpet teacher there and he was outstanding," Honeycutt said. "I was in wind ensemble with Dr. Steve Gage and he was just absolutely incredible and they were intense, they were pretty rigorous, YSU, Dana School of Music is no joke, but I learned so much from there, I learned everything I needed to come into this job and be a full-time performer."
As a musician in the U.S. Navy, Honeycutt says their bread and butter is ceremonial support, things like change of command ceremonies, retirement ceremonies but he also gets a lot of other jobs as a trumpeter.
"I also play Taps pretty often, so we get asked to go all across the Mid-Atlantic region as far west as Kentucky, Ohio sometimes playing Taps for funerals. It doesn't get much more important than that for a trumpet player for a job you can be doing," Honeycutt said.
While naval musicians like Honeycutt help keep the tradition of military music alive, they also deploy on humanitarian missions to help create international partnerships.
"We actually have a group that just came back from two months in South America as part of the continuing promise deployment doing humanitarian missions and so like you will doctors and dentists and people go out into a lot of communities that need a lot of help and then we will have musicians there play some music and create a lot of international partnerships," Honeycutt said. "It Is a great way to establish like esprit de corps among the sailors and we're able to just accomplish a lot, overseas especially, like I've seen the impact we can have and it's amazing the communities we can interact with and the relationships we can build."
Coming up Friday on 21 News at 11 - a look at submarines in the U.S. Navy and the Pennsylvania sailor who works as an Assistant Weapons Officer on the attack submarine USS New Hampshire.