Allegheny Alumnus Found his Rhythm in the Navy

Performing songs capturing every musical genre from the National Song of Remembrance, “Taps” to classic rock, Naval musician and Allegheny College alumnus, Daniel Honeycutt ‘14, serves his country through music as a member of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet Band.

The double major in music and political science began his journey into performing twenty-some years ago when he started playing trumpet in fifth grade. From there, it was a natural progression, inspired largely by his grandfather, who was also a trumpet player in the Army Band during World War II.

Daniel Honeycutt plays “Taps” at the 9/11 Memorial in NYC

After graduating from high school, Honeycutt left his hometown of Bangor, Maine for Meadville to attend Allegheny College and further pursue his passions.

“I chose Allegheny because of the school’s emphasis on unusual combinations. I wanted to study both music and political science in college, and Allegheny was the only school that I looked into that was fully supportive of me following that dream,” Honeycutt recalls. “I loved the challenge of being pushed in two different areas of study at the same time. I was even able to combine both of my majors for my Senior Comp thanks to the support of my professors.”

Honeycutt’s time at Allegheny not only helped shape his passion for performing arts, it also introduced him to his wife and many of his lifelong friends.

“I developed the work ethic at Allegheny that I needed to succeed in grad school and in my professional career,” says Honeycutt. “I also fell in love with music while playing in ensembles and taking trumpet lessons during my freshman and sophomore years, which led to me pursuing my master’s in music.”

After graduating from Allegheny, the U.S. Fleet Forces band member went on to receive his master’s degree in trumpet performance at Youngstown State University in Ohio before enlisting in the Navy in November 2016. When his two months of boot camp and five months of training at the Naval School of Music were complete, Honeycutt was stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, followed by his current post in Norfolk, Virginia.

“I took an audition for the Navy fleet band program based on its reputation for a high level of playing, as well as the great duty stations for our nine bands around the globe,” Honeycutt says. “I’m able to make a great living with a number of benefits, like healthcare and a retirement plan as a musician, which is really hard to come by in this field.”

There are many enriching perks to the 31-year-old’s job as a Navy Fleet Band musician, including traveling the world, playing a variety of music from classical to jazz and rock on any given day, and performing for public figures like President Biden.

“We’re on the front lines of building international partnerships with our allies and connecting with Veterans and service members at home,” says Honeycutt. “I am a huge believer in the value of the work that we do every day to represent the sailors that serve in the U.S. Navy.”