This page gives us an opportunity to introduce one of our members “up close and personal”. Our featured player this month is Randy MacIver, tuba.
“My name is Randy MacIver and I have been a tuba playing member of the Montgomery County Concert Band since it began back in 1995. I was one of many local musicians that came together under the very capable leadership of Mr. Steve Fredrick and Mr. Chuck Neidhardt to play music and share it with the public, because it truly is a gift we can all share in. Mostly, I really love to play the tuba, and it is more fun with many friends.”
In second grade Randy started saxophone lessons at Jacobs Elementary School under the direction of a trumpet player, Robert Smith. A year later, Randy’s family urged him to start playing bass baritone bugle* with the Pembroke Imperials located in MA. He continued both his school program and the corps. Randy’s middle school music instructor, Mr. Vernon Gibson introduced him to a wide variety of instruments, including the “family” of saxophones, french horn, euphonium and baritone. His summer drum corps experience allowed him to learn a relatively new horn to drum corps, which was the contra bass bugle.
“I went into high school thinking I was going to become a band director and pass on the love of music to my students, so I kicked my musical learning into high gear. I was a baritone/tuba player for the Hull High School Marching Pirates and played contra for the Holy Name Defenders of Plymouth County. I sang in the choir and performed in all the school musicals. I traveled a lot as a musician during high school along with drum corps, and the performing bug just got the best of me. Being from a family of 10 children, my college fund was non-existent, so I had to come up with a plan B. I auditioned to go into the Marine Corps Music Field and in September of 1980 I began my marine musician phase.”
Randy went to boot camp at Parris Island and graduated from the US Naval School of Music to be posted as a field musician with the 2nd Marine Division Band in NC. He was a tuba/bass/sax/ librarian for the band, which gave him the opportunity to travel extensively. He continued with his participation in drum corps and kept taking college courses through the GI Bill while serving in the Marines. He auditioned for The Commandant’s Own USMC Drum and Bugle Corps in Washington DC.
“I spent six very cool and musically awesome years hobnobbing with outstanding musicians and very important people like congressmen, senators, presidents, and high ranking military and government officials. I was privileged to perform at famous locales such as The Capital, White House, Iwo Jima Memorial and similar venues all over the U.S.A. I was a musical ambassador with the Marine Corps to many countries including Australia, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Cuba to name a few. I would have to say life was very good to me. While I was traveling 24-7-365, I used my off time when it came up to continue my drum corps fix by marching with the Reading Bucs in PA, were I met my wife, Celeste. As you might think, I became burned out with all the travel and looked to find a home port to settle in.” Randy retrained as a launch and recovery specialist at Willow Grove Air Station, got married, attended college and free-lanced as a tuba player in Audubon, PA.
Randy has performed with The Golden Rams Marching Band (West Chester University), Reading Bucs, Lansdowne Symphony, Chester County Concert Band, Turke’s Head Brass, Atlantic Brass Band, North Penn Symphony, Philadelphia German Brass Band, Tuba 4’s, Ringgold Band, Immaculate Symphony, The Quakertown Band, The All American Brass Band, Upper Darby Sousa Band, Bushwhackers Drum Corps, The VAMM Band and many, many other groups that needed a tuba player. “I also indulged my love of the tuba by playing in several tuba christmas concerts each year since 1981–in Washington DC to present day Lansdale, PA, which is in its 12th year.” (It’s a shame he didn’t have much experience, isn’t it!!) He served as the tuba/euphonium instructor for the Community Music School in Trappe, PA. Currently he is teaching in the School District of Philadelphia and resides in Harleysville.”
“My children, Ryan and Erin, are also smitten with the music bug and can be seen marching, playing in concerts, and performing on stage with the various groups of Souderton HS. I can also proudly state that this year my son Ryan has become a performing member of the Montgomery County Concert Band, and my daughter is soon to follow. I can easily say that all I need is a time and place to show up, and I am ready to jam with any group willing to have me as a tuba player. My musical interests continue to expand from my work with marching groups such as the Woodbridge Marching Vikings in VA to the North Penn Marching Knights in PA, where I served as a low brass instructor. Many people have influenced me to become active in the arts, including Robert Cochoran and Robert Zigner, my CO Truman Crawford, my Marine Corps teachers MSGT Dave Dorough and GYSGT Brad Weaver, my college teachers Dr. Sol Cohen, Dr. Owen Metcalfe, Dr. Harvey Phillips and my good friends Steve Frederick and Chuck Neidhardt.
“I will continue to play in the Montgomery County Concert Band. My last wish to attain as a tuba player is to some- day finally own my very first “brand new” tuba. A tuba player has got to have a dream, right? Keep those notes low, be well, do good work, and keep in touch…Randy MacIver”
* The instrumentation in a drum and bugle corps varies from the conventional marching band. For questions and schedules regarding drum and bugle corps performances get in touch with Steve Frederick through this website.