March and April are a busy time for the Navy Band as our two largest performing ensembles, the Concert Band and the Sea Chanters chorus, embark on national concert tours. Touring is one of our priority missions and it is a great way to share our Navy message to people all over this great country. The Navy’s slogan, “America’s Navy – A Global Force for Good,” truly describes what we are about. Music can be a global force for good in many ways and I believe our tours are the embodiment of this slogan on a national scale. We look forward to making new friends and seeing old acquaintances as both groups travel to the Northeast. The tour schedules are available on the website, so please go there for concert information. In advance, I'd like to personally thank our tour sponsors. Our success on these trips is largely due to their preparatory work behind the scenes. I urge each of you to support us with your attendance when we visit your area.
I'd like to mention several historic events that took place recently in which your Navy Band participated. The Ceremonial Band performed for the state arrival ceremony for Chinese President Hu Jintao at the White House. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's inauguration, the Ceremonial Band participated in a special ceremony at the Capitol building, and musicians from all of our ensembles performed two special concerts on the Millennium Stage at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. I want to thank our Ceremonial Band and staff for the top-notch professional job they did and continue to do each day as they honor our country's veterans and heroes.
In closing, I want to mention that our 34th International Saxophone Symposium was a huge success. We enjoyed near-capacity crowds for both Friday and Saturday night performances. My thanks go out to Senior Chief Musician Timothy Roberts and his staff for all their efforts that made the symposium a success. Special thanks to all our wonderful soloists, especially Mr. Branford Marsalis, who was featured on both evening concerts.