Friday, September 2, 2011

Cincinnati Navy Week: Day Two

Yesterday we played two concerts: one at a high school and the other a formal concert at an amphitheatre in Ft. Thomas, Ky. (a suburb of Cincinnati, across the Ohio River). It's always challeging to play two concerts in different places in the same day, but the band did an excellent job.

The high school kids loved the band and were dancing in the aisles with Musicians 1st Class Shana Sullivan and Cory Parker. It's a wonderful experience playing for kids that knew and sang on every song.

We packed up at the end of the concert and drove to Ft. Thomas, with maybe a one-hour food stop. The concert was outside and it was 100 degrees in the sun while we were setting up. This was a real fun ordeal! By the time we played the temperature dropped to a cool 90 degrees.

I guess the funniest thing about this concert was that they built a very state-of-the-art stage, but the place where people had to sit was just a hill with dirt and the beginnings of grass. The audience brought blankets and chairs and sat where they could. Can't wait to come back and play when they've finished the amphitheatre!

The mayor of Cincinnati was there and gave a proclamation to the Navy and Rear Adm. Antolio Cruz accepted the proclamation and introduced the band. We had a great experience. The band really performed a great energetic show, despite being exhausted and overheated. As the leader of the group, it is sometimes very difficult to keep spirits up and motivate musicians to do their best. Everyone of these Sailors found what they needed within themselves to still put on two outstanding performances with the audience never realizing our intense day.

Chief Musician Leon Alexander is leader of the Cruisers.

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