For The Morning Star
The Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) will be performing at the fourth annual Okanagan Military Tattoo July 29 and 30. But it is not the first time members of the Naden Band have brought their music to Vernon.
Brayden Wise, who was born and raised in Vernon, remembers the band visiting W.L. Seaton Secondary School when he was in Grade 9 and a member of the school band.
“It was then that I realized that there was more to the military than just guns and tanks,” he said.
Wise, now Chief Petty Officer Second Class, RCN and band chief for the Naden Band, first picked up an instrument when his best friend convinced him to play the clarinet in the Beairsto elementary school band. With the encouragement of Geoff Dolman, the dedicated band teacher at Seaton secondary, and the mentorship of local musician Henry Piovesan, he discovered a lifetime passion: music, everything from stage band and choir to brass band and jazz.
After high school, he attended a summer music camp where he met a professor from Capilano University who convinced him to audition for their Jazz Studies Program. At the same music camp he learned about the reserve army band in Vancouver. He successfully auditioned for both, completed the recruiting process for the military reserve then attended university while playing in the army band part-time.
His military career has been varied. From Vancouver he moved to Ottawa, transferring to the regular force. He has been a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force (Ottawa), the Royal Canadian Army (Edmonton) and now the RCN (Victoria). Along the way he has always been a professional musician playing in a Canadian Military Band.
A small group of Naden Band musicians did come back to Seaton school again in February 2016 and Wise was one of them.
“It was a chance to influence the students,” he said, “to let them know there is music after high school band.”
This is the first time the Naden Band will be performing at the OMT. The 35-member band will be joining about 500 other musicians, dancers and other performers for the two shows.
“It’s a chance for me to bring it back to where it all started,” said Wise, adding, “and it’s always a good day when I can play for my parents.”
For more information about the OMT or to buy tickets: https://okanagantattoo.ca