Naden Band lays down new tracks

Naden Band practicing

Lt(N) Matthew Clark, Commanding Officer of the Naden Band, takes the musicians through a rehearsal.

In-between playing gigs at numerous events, the Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy has been laying down tracks for a new CD.
The album, titled “Snapshots of Excellence”, focuses on the Naden Band’s smaller ensembles.

“Most people are used to seeing the band all together at events, or at Christmas time,” says Lt(N) Matthew Clark, the band’s Commanding Officer. “We have a lot of great talent, and a lot of smaller groups and soloists we wanted to shine the spotlight on. It’s very exciting for us.”

The band is comprised of world-class musicians; this talent includes everything from trombone quartets to woodwind quintets, soloists of all kinds, and modern rock and jazz inspired groups.

“There is a lot of variety in our performers,” says Lt(N) Clark. “We have a great respect for the classic style, but it’s nice to get to stretch our legs a little.”

For the recording process, the band’s practice hall and headquarters at N33 have been converted into a recording studio, with microphones every few steps, and hundreds of feet of snaking wires and cords draping the room like vines. They are recording well into the evening, night after night.

“We’ve had to turn the air conditioning off because the mics are so sensitive,” he says. “After eight hours of playing and recording, it becomes quite the oven. Playing music is a lot more exhausting than I think a lot of people understand.”

Despite all the late nights, sore jaws, and boiling hot recording sessions, Lt(N) Clark says at the end of the day it’s a worthwhile experience.

“Sometimes I’ll get home at 11:30 p.m. and think about how I might have gotten in over my head,” he says. “But when I wake up the next morning, I’m excited to get started on a new day of recording.”

The feeling is mutual for PO1 Karen Shields, flutist for the band.

“It’s a lot of work, but when you finally get a track recorded it’s a very good feeling,” she says.

While a release date has yet to be set, Lookout’s graphic designer Carmel Ecker is busy creating the CD art for the band’s latest accomplishment.

Shawn O’Hara, Staff Writer

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