Tribute to Sousa dedicated to Eide

This spring’s annual tribute to John Philip Sousa by the North Cascades Concert Band is extra special, according to the band’s assistant conductor, Rob Pattermann.

North Cascades Concert Band’s tribute to Sousa

is third Arlington performance in one year at BPAC

This spring’s annual tribute to John Philip Sousa by the North Cascades Concert Band is extra special, according to the band’s assistant conductor, Rob Pattermann.

“It’s dedicated to the band’s founder, Keith Eide,” Pattermann said, adding the band is planning a big surprise.

“We are going to play a lot of his favorite songs,” Pattermann said from a golf course in Scottsdale, where he was enjoying an 84 degree day last week.

The NCCB has about 55 member musicians from up and down the Puget Sound region who get together to rehearse on a regular basis and perform twice annually in Anacortes, Bellingham, and sometimes in Mount Vernon or Arlington.

“Anacortes is the symbolic home of the band, because that is where our founder lives.” So the traveling concert will be presented three times this weekend: 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 11 at the First Congregational Church in Bellingham; at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 12 at the Byrnes Performing Arts Center at Arlington High School and at 3 p.m., Sunday, April 13 at Broadniak Performing Arts Center at Anacortes High School.

“We have been shopping around for the best three locations and we are thinking that Arlington’s new PAC might be the perfect fit with Anacortes and Bellingham,” Pattermann said, adding they had considered another venue in Whatcom County but it didn’t complement the Bellingham venue.

The NCCB was founded in 1993 when Dr. Keith Eide organized a meeting with several musician friends who had expressed an interest in forming a concert band to perform at, or near, a professional level — the level of musicianship needed to present the best in concert band music.

Now, 15 years later, members travel from Blaine to Renton to practice regularly in Burlington and perform a couple of programs each year. They were special guests at the grand opening of Arlington’s PAC last June and performed a concert there honoring Veterans Day last November.

The NCCB was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in 1995 and the mailing list has grown to almost 2,000. Business sponsorship has increased to include large corporations as well as a number of small local firms. In 2002 the NCCB received a grant from the Washington Commission for the Arts.

The band’s euphonium player, Paul Graves, who is vice president of the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce and a mortgage banker, said the concert is going to be lots of fun.

“It’s gonna be a great concert,” said Graves, who learned to play trumpet as a student at Arlington High School some years ago and took on the NCCB’s euphonium when it became available.

“The euphonium is commonly known as a baritone,” he explained. “It’s one octave higher than a tuba.

“It’s a learning process,” he laughed. Graves said he did no music in college but was able to pick it back up after time.

“We have quite a few members who only studied music in high school,” he said.

He described the upcoming concert format.

“It’s a classic Sousa format,” he said.

“Every piece will be followed by a mini encore,” Graves said, adding that Sousa used the little encores as a strategy to get a reaction from his audience.

“The crowd went wild every time he did another version of Dixie,” Graves said.

Songs on the program include works by Wagner and Tchaikovsky, Holz’s Military Suite, and Four Scottish Dances, said Pattermann.

“It’s a challenging ensemble of music,” Graves said.

“I would like to encourage young people to attend.”

The program includes both traditional and contemporary composers with outstanding soloists, a fast pace and lots of encores.

Sousa’s band music was the first American music to receive international acclaim in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, according to the NCCB Web site. At that time bands, not orchestras, were the most important aspect of concert life in the U.S.

The current conductor, Lylburn Layer served in the Navy in the 1950s and was a founding member of the Navy Steel Band and member of the U.S. Navy Band in Washington, D.C. Since his retirement from public education in July 1998, he has enjoyed spending more time with his passions of private teaching, performing and conducting.

The assistant conductor, Pattermann graduated from Washington State University in 1975 with a double major in music and education. He taught instrumental music for 14 years in the Shoreline School District with eight years as the director of bands at Shorewood High School. After completing a master’s degree in education administration at Seattle Pacific University, Rob spent the last 16 years of his career as a school administrator in the Arlington School District, retiring as the assistant superintendent. Recently he has been filling in as principal at Arlington High School until the end of this school year, he said.

He retired in January from the Board of Directors for the Everett Symphony after serving the past four years, and is past president of the Everett Youth Symphony. He plays trombone with NCCB and has 44 years of experience on that horn. He has been with the North Cascades Concert Band for eight years.

Contact Sarah Arney

at 360-435-5757 or

Local band members

Arlington: Rob Pattermann – assistant conductor, trombone; Gretchen Piqott – flute; Christina Waltman – bassoon; Alan Lish – trumpet; Paul Graves – euphonium; Warren Hopkins – tuba; Pam Moser – percussion; and Pat Swesey – trombone.

Arlington teachers: Bob LaTorre – trumpet; Joe Horsak – percussion and Kip Otterness – trumpet.

Marysville: Lorrie Winchell – flute; Miriam Greenshields – clarinet; Jeannine Lish – clarinet; Elly Moen – clarient; and Al Baker – tuba.