Tim Gamelle, Alto Sax
Born and raised in San Diego California, Tim Gamelle has been teaching and playing professionally for over 25 years. He started playing music at a very young age. He began playing piano at age 6 but really wanted to play saxophone. When he was 13 he got his first saxophone and it has been his favorite instrument ever since. He played in school band in jr. high and high school. After graduating he played with the Grossmont Jazz Ensemble and began teaching private lessons. He also started playing with local bands as well as doing studio work. In 1994 he moved to the east coast spending time gigging mainly around different parts of Florida as well as Charleston South Carolina. In Charleston he taught an after school lesson program for Northwoods Academy and Cathedral Academy. Both are very prestigious private schools. In 2004 Tim moved back to San Diego and is currently playing with Big Band Express.
Everette Crouse, Tenor Sax
EVERETT C. CROUSE, Music Education, Class of 1968
Everett C. Crouse, a native of Visalia, California, enlisted in the United States Navy in 1968 bringing with him a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education earned at the College of Idaho and graduate work at Fresno State College. Since that time, he as completed graduate work in education at the Chapman University, the University of Hartford—Hartt School of Music and Certification in Computer Networks and Applications at Coleman University.
Upon completion of recruit training at NTC, San Diego in March 1969, he was transferred to the Armed Forces School of Music, Little Creek, Norfolk, Virginia for their basic course. In February 1970, he was assigned to the Commander Naval Air Forces Pacific Unit Band 155 which deployed on the USS Iwo Jima for the Apollo 13 recovery in the South Pacific. His next assignments were aboard the USS Constellation, USS Kitty Hawk and USS Hancock for Western Pacific evolutions in conjunction with Commander Task Force 77 in the Tonkin Gulf of Viet Nam.
In June 1971, Mr. Crouse was selected as a charter member of Navy Show Band West, a premier community relations musical organization. He served as tenor saxophone instrumentalist, stage manager and logistics coordinator until the band moved to San Francisco in 1974. He continued as a reed instrumentalist with Navy Show Band West following the transfer to San Francisco and was advanced to Musician First Class. In June 1975, he was selected for assignment to the United States Naval Academy Band in Annapolis, Maryland where he served as reed instrumentalist in the Concert Band, Stage Band and various combos. He was also a featured Master of Ceremonies, operations coordinator and conductor. He was selected for advancement to Chief Petty Officer in August 1978.
Everett Crouse returned to the School of Music in 1979 and completed the Enlisted Bandleader Course. Upon graduation, he served as ceremonial band conductor and rock ensemble leader at Navy Band Great Lakes where he was advanced to Senior Chief Musician. In February 1981, he was assigned as Director, Navy Band Guam where he led the band in such exotic locations as Western Samoa, the Cook Islands, Ulithi, Yap and the many islands of the Marianas Archipelago.
In February 1983, Mr. Crouse returned to Navy Band San Francisco as the Assistant Director. June 1985 brought a transfer to Washington D.C. to the Bureau of Naval Personnel as Fiscal Manager for the Navy Music Program and subsequent advancement to Master Chief Petty Officer. He was later appointed the Enlisted Personnel Detailer for the Program.
Mr. Crouse was transferred to Navy Band San Diego in July 1988 as Assistant Director. He was instrumental in continuing the Summer Concert Series as conductor at popular performance venues throughout the Greater San Diego Area. In 1993 he moved to the Bay Area for his second tour as Assistant Director of Navy Band San Francisco. Following the Naval Station Treasure Island base closing in 1995, Mr. Crouse was again transferred to NTC San Diego. He completed his 29 year naval career in 1997.
Everett Crouse's personal military decorations include: the Navy Commendation Medal (four awards), Navy Achievement Medal (two awards), Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation (two awards), Navy Good Conduct Medal (seven awards), National Defense Service Medal (two awards), Viet Nam Service Medal (two awards), Overseas Service Ribbon and Republic of Viet Nam Campaign Medal.
In 1997, Mr. Crouse began his public school music teaching career at Pacific Beach Middle School. In his fourth year of teaching, he added the Mission Bay High School music program to his assignment in Pacific Beach. . He currently performs with Marty Conley’s Big Band Express.. He is currently a board member of the Community Council for Music in the Schools.
A second generation native Californian, Mr. Crouse is married to the former Eufemia F. Solomon of Pangasinan, Philippines. He has two adult sons, Neil and Edward, and a granddaughter, Alexandria, two great granddaughters, Mylinh and Myaah.
Lenny Light, Baritone Sax
Growing up in Newport, RI, Lenny learned how to play the clarinet from Navy musicians who lived above the family grocery store. At 13 he got his first saxophone, joined a rock and roll band and never looked back. He played clarinet and saxophones in the University of Rhode Island symphonic wind ensemble and marching band while pursuing a degree in Philosophy. He has played in orchestras, Dixieland, rhythm and blues, community, and dance bands. Lenny moved to California in 1983 and lives in Rancho San Diego with the lovely Jennifer. He has been with the band since the summer of 2009 and is honored to be playing with the outstanding musicians in the Big Band Express.
Michael Panther, Tenor Sax
After studying music education at Rutgers University and music composition at N.Y.U., Michael Panther is pleased to continue his musical lifestyle with Big Band Express. Michael switched from violin to saxophone when he was ten years old. He currently plays with four big bands, including Big Band Express, along with a concert band and several rock bands in the San Diego area