From Spring 2003 Fanfare
you’re an AAMB alum or a die-hard fan who follows the “All-American”
Marching Band back to the Hovde Hall after games, you’ve witnessed
a bit of craziness called “Tuba Cadence.”
It’s a tradition that got its start with John
Halkyard, a 1960s tuba player who majored in engineering science. Verifying
the fact that true intelligence can lie beneath the tuba facade of craziness,
Halkyard obtained MS and PhD degrees in ocean engineering at MIT after
his Purdue graduation in 1966.
In the 1990s Halkyard was a partner in Deep Oil Technology,
which developed a new form of floating platform for deep water oil drilling
and production. “This was a successful effort which led to several
corporate buyouts and a temporary move from San Diego to Houston where
I now live,” says Halkyard who’s currently senior technical
advisor for the French firmTechnip Offshore.
Following graduation, “I was away from Purdue
until 1982 when I returned for Alumni Band. I was floored when they
played the cadence. It made me a little proud to be part of the great
tradition of Purdue Bands,” Halkyard says.
Musically, Halkyard played in a jazz band at MIT and
traveled with it to the Montreux Jazz Festival. He’s also been
active in community bands in California. Even with that involvement,
“I sort of forgot about my Purdue experience until I had children
of college age. I’ve told my kids that those four years should
be cherished. The opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities
is unique to this period of life and are just as important as academic
pursuits,” he says.
“I think band teaches the value of personal excellence
as it leads to group achievement which is the key to success in most
things. By this I mean that success is based on individual practice
and achievement,” Halkyard says, and “when you participate
in a group that shares these values the joy of success is multiplied.”