Friday, November 4, 2011

A Message From the Commanding Officer

As we enter our holiday season, there have been several major transitions that I’d like to mention. On behalf of the men and women of the Navy Band, I wish fair winds and following seas to Adm. Mike Mullen, outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Adm. Gary Roughead, our outgoing chief of naval operations. It was a pleasure and an honor to work for these outstanding leaders, and I look forward to working with our new CNO, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, and the new chairman, Gen. Martin Dempsey. I also want to welcome aboard the band’s new executive officer, Lt. Walt Cline, who comes to us from Navy Band Great Lakes.

This time of year, I am reminded of our Sailors and Marines that are not able to be at home with their families. We want to thank all of these brave men and women for what they do to unselfishly guard and protect our freedom. We also want to thank the families they leave behind for their sacrifices as they live through periods of separation from their loved ones. Let us all remember to keep these heroes and their families in our thoughts and prayers this holiday season.

This year’s holiday concert, entitled “Home for the Holidays,” will be held on Dec. 17 and 18 at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. This show will feature the talents of the Concert Band, Sea Chanters and Commodores, and will be a collection of holiday music favorites introduced by “Navy hallmark moment” vignettes. I invite you to begin your holiday season with us, so visit our website to get your e-tickets and make plans to attend.

As this edition of fanfare goes to print, the band has just finished celebrating the Navy’s 236th birthday and the centennial of naval aviation with a concert at Constitution Hall that featured the Concert Band, Sea Chanters, Cruisers and Country Current. We were pleased to have B. Taylor, a number one Billboard R&B artist and former Sailor, as a guest artist on this concert. In addition, this fall marks the release of a new Concert Band CD, “Derivations,” and our educational DVD set, “Lincolnshire Posy.”

As we close out another event-filled year here at the Navy Band, we want to thank all of you, our concert patrons and Navy Band family for your continued loyal support throughout this year. Next year marks the bicentennial of the War of 1812, so stay tuned for many upcoming events to commemorate this landmark period in our country’s history. In closing, I ask that you please mark your calendar and plan to attend the 35th International Saxophone Symposium in January.

Capt. Brian Walden is the commanding officer and 13th leader of the United States Navy Band.

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