A Family Affair
When Pickerington High School Central (OH) band director Nathan Stowe, a close friend of mine for over 20 years, and I worked out the details for me to serve as a guest soloist on his Memorial Day concert, I had no idea what a special gig this would be for me. When Nathan's request to the US Naval Academy Band to have me as a guest soloist was officially approved, I was essentially granted four days to travel to Ohio, without taking any vacation time, and "work" at home. My first thought was how exciting it was going to be to come back to Ohio for the first time as a Navy Musician. This was where I grew up, where I learned how to play trumpet, where I went to college (Undergrad AND DMA). It was a chance to have a grand homecoming of sorts. Of course, when you put on a concert in central Ohio, very rarely does it involve just one Harriman.
As it turned out, my Dad and my Uncle were both asked to play bagpipes on this concert. Not just the usual requests for "Amazing Grace" or "Highland Cathedral" either. No, the piece was entitled "On Behalf of a Grateful Nation" and was composed by the former staff arranger for the United States Air Force Band here in Washington D.C.! Former PHSC band director Michael Sewell commissioned the piece, which adds another layer to the Harriman involvement. Mr. Sewell was a former student of my grandpa Glenn, and before the concert he shared with me his respect for grandpa and gave him great credit for impacting him and his musical career.
So, that was all dandy and sweet, but it also meant the world to me that my Mom and Grandparents Frank and Arlene Huiet were able to come and watch me play. Those three people rarely, if ever, missed any pf my concerts growing up. Middle School Band, OSU Skull Sessions, Trumpet Recitals, you name it, they were always there. I'm very fortunate to have the career that I do, playing with the amazing musicians that I somehow tricked into hiring me, but for one night, playing at a high school in Ohio, with family members both on stage and in the audience, this was one of the most fulfilling gigs I have had in a very long time.