The Harrison family moved to Dayton in the summer of 1953, where Dave attended Van Cleve Elementary School. After completing the 8th grade at Van Cleve in the spring of 1958, Dave spent eight weeks at a summer camp in Maine.
As the years progressed, Dave became increasingly more involved in all the instrumental groups in CWa€™s music department. Upon graduation in 1962, he enrolled at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, where he majored in music education. During his college years in Cincinnati, he kept in close contact with the DeVelbiss family. He served as the Little Colonel director at band camp in the summers of a€™63, a€™64, and a€?65, spending everyday on the practice field with the block, perfecting routines and polishing techniques. That first summer the Colonels nicknamed him a€?Tootsie Rolla€?, because that was his expression, instead of a€?Cheese!a€? to remind the girls to smile while performing. As a former CW band member, Dave thought he knew and understood the Little Colonels, but says today, a€?No one could really know them, until youa€™d worked with them all those long, hot days at band camp. Elsewhere in the music department, traditions started by Jack DeVelbiss continued under Davea€™s direction.
Now, as he looks back on those years as a mere 22-year-old, Dave says he was handed a lot of responsibility with the expectation of producing great results. But perhaps Davea€™s most memorable time at TM came in 1978, when the band and Rockettes drill team were invited to participate in the National Pageant of Bands in Phoenix, Arizona. Later that year, and much to Davea€™s surprise, he was offered the music directora€™s position at Pleasant Valley High School, a wealthy suburb of Phoenix, Arizona.
Today, Davea€™s odyssey with the Little Colonels continues, and this time age doesna€™t matter. The Middle East is fast becoming a creative hub for designers of all backgrounds; from artists to architects, and engineers to inventors. ZAHRAH MAZHAR: What does this five-year milestone mean to you and everyone who has been involved since Design Days Dubai’s inception? CYRIL ZAMMIT: It means that we are on the right journey—one that we started in the middle of the desert. In the first year, people assumed that we were simply a furniture exhibition and we had to remove that misconception. Buying design pieces was considered a luxury; people tend to be overwhelmed with limited edition pieces. Compared to previous years, we’ve kept a more saturated collection because at the end of the day, we still want to maintain a boutique concept. You’ve talked about how far local designers have come; which areas do you feel that they still need to focus on to keep growing?
While at Van Cleve, he was a dedicated member of the Boy Scouts of America, eventually earning the rank of Eagle Scout; and where he also learned to play the trombone. As a result, he missed Colonel Whitea€™s very first band camp at Earlham College, and when school began, he was an alternate in the marching band directed by a€?Mr.
It was a fitting choice for Dave, since he had enjoyed such a successful high school musical career, and had come to appreciate what he had learned from Jack DeVelbiss.
And since his own family had moved to Grandville, Michigan in 1964, Dave often stayed at the DeVelbiss home on week-ends, while teaching private lessons or playing in local bands in the Dayton area. D was looking for a new Little Colonel director for band camp to replace Dick Patzel who could no longer continue in that position He didna€™t have to look any farther than his own living room.

And anytime Dave rode the Colonel bus, it was a sure bet the girls would eventually break into song with their version of a€?Harrigana€? from Yankee Doodle Dandy - with a little liberty in the spelling: a€?H-A-double R-I-S-O-N spells Harrison!
All these years later, I can still remember the tremendous pride, work ethic and the special a€?culturea€? of the Little Colonels.
It was the highest profile performance in which any Colonel White band and Little Colonel unit had ever participated. Later that year, he and Nancy were married on November 25th, because it was Davea€™s first weekend without a half-time show!
Da€™s student teacher from Miami University, who came to band camp in a€™64 and went to Detroit with everyone that December. His thesis, a€?A Study of Seven Successful Secondary Music Programs in Small Cities and Suburbs in Western Ohio and Eastern Indianaa€? became the stepping stone to his next job.
D to lead the Trotwood-Madison band at the dedication of Sinclair Community Collegea€™s new home in downtown Dayton.
As the region starts to catch up with the global design scene, without a doubt, Design Days Dubai has played a leading role to shift the emirate into a higher gear.
Standing at the helm of Design Days Dubai since its inception is Paris-born Cyril Zammit, the fair’s director. We worked towards creating an understanding of what design is; yes, it can be furniture, but it is up to you if you want to use that chair or table for its practical purpose or as a piece of art.
Over the five years, we’ve broken the notion that all creative products will break the bank by keeping affordable designs in the mix. I am looking forward to our special project Wasl; with the exception of one piece, all the designs have been produced over the last five years, so it’s a testament to how far we have come.
The first installment of Wasl, curated by Moza Almatrooshi, was shown during Beijing Design Week as part of the Dubai Guest City exhibition. An event like Design Days Dubai might be good enough for the region, but maybe not Basel—which is a different world. He became so much a part of their family that the DeVelbiss kids referred to him as their Uncle Charlie.
D, Dave, and the Colonels all realized the importance of keeping a professional working relationship between the director and the block. Harrison!a€? Without fail, Dave would blush and shake his head, and the Colonels would break into applause and laughter. You really had to experience it to know what it was: like weigh-ins, salt tablets and the smell of Ben Gay . He claims he did briefly contemplate getting married on the field at Welcome Stadium during half-time with the band and Little Colonels present, but thought Nancy might consider a church wedding more appropriate.
Keith and Dave would work closely together in the years to come when they both were high school music directors in Dayton - Keith at Belmont and Dave at Colonel White. In 1967 and 1969, he directed the Colonel White Capers - a spring variety show featuring individual vocal and dance numbers. He left Colonel White in the spring of that year to become the assistant director at Trotwood-Madison, which had a much larger music department than Colonel White. Along with the usual fundraisers, was Davea€™s idea of a€?pole sittinga€? in a custom-built band wagon, atop a telephone pole, over Labor Day Weekend.
You really had to experience it to know what it was:A  like weigh-ins, salt tablets and the smell of Ben Gay .
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Now in its fifth year, the fair features designers and artists from all over the world, but its mission to encourage and support regional talent has been evident from the outset. Here, he speaks to Zahrah Mazhar about the fair’s journey so far, and how emerging Middle Eastern creatives can take on the global design scene. It is also important to understand that while the end product is what makes a customer ultimately purchase a design, a client is also paying for the strenuous process that led to the creation of the final piece.
Because I saw it happen, I was later asked to identify them.a€? And so began Davea€™s long odyssey with the Little Colonels, one he could have scarcely imagined at the time. Dave graduated from Cincinnati in June of a€?66, applied for the job and became the second director in the schoola€™s history. I was up on top of the van to watch the practice, and when I went to jump down, my coat got caught on the open door of the van and I fell off and landed on my shoulder a€“ really hurt it. Also in a€™69, the Little Colonels took first place in the Greater Dayton Drill Team Invitational, with Marita Brookley as head Colonel. A music parent who worked for the phone company made the arrangements, and Dave soon found himself perched high above the crowd in Madison Park that weekend. Many schools were even hiring outsiders to work with their different groups, like the drill teams.
This year, and to mark its five-year milestone, Design Days Dubai will host Wasl, the largest retrospective exhibition of UAE design to date, and featuring over 25 pieces.
We must remember that we are living in “Dubai years,” which means that we have to be patient and go at a certain pace. For example, with Dutch designers, their work isn’t typically Dutch; it is quirky and funny and plays with different materials.
Harrison, but that didna€™t keep the girls from good-naturedly kidding him from time to time - respectfully, of course.
People pledged all sorts of money for the stunt, and some even paid to have the Trotwood fire department lift them up to shake Davea€™s hand. It is important that there is steady and organic growth so that artists mature before being exposed to the international audience, who will have no issue in criticizing them. It is time for the artists here to catch up, especially in a city like Dubai where the mix of nationalities offers an opportunity to explore more than your own culture.
Also, Stan was so inspired by the Little Colonels that he modeled a younger girlsa€™ drill team after them, and named them the Little Majors. The wrecker came and it got stuck, and we had to call another wrecker to get the first wrecker, and the van, out of the mud,a€? laughs Dave.
This fundraiser and others helped raise more than $100,000 to charter a plane and send the band and drill team, uniforms and instruments, and staff and chaperones to Arizona.
I’m confident that in five years, designers here will have moved away from their comfort zones—you can still always come back to your roots as people sometimes expect it. Fortunately, Keith and some other staff members were still there, but just as fortunately for Dave, the students had all gone home.
The school took second place in the pageant on December 16th, and the parade segment was shown on national television on New Yeara€™s Day before the Fiesta Bowl.

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