Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick’s Day... let’s talk about gym jobs

by Musician 1st Class Eric Brown

The Concert Band’s last two performances have been in high school gymnasiums. Internally at the Navy Band, we refer to these performances as “gym jobs”.

At intermission during one of these shows, an audience member spoke to me about how much she was enjoying the concert. She then said that she was sorry such a fine band had to play in a gym.

Woah there, cowgirl (this is how we think in Texas, even if it's not always how we talk), stop right there, and let this petty officer set you right.

When the Navy Band is out on tour, we will play anywhere that will have us and for anyone that will hear us. Although we cannot logistically play everywhere we want, and there are indeed a few general prerequisites for hosting a concert (the venue needs to fit 60 performers, for example), the bottom line is quite simply that we are here to serve you, American.

We, the Navy Band, will gladly play in your small town, even if the best venue option is your local high school gym. We will fill it up, burn it down (figuratively) and feel genuinely grateful for the opportunity. Every American deserves what the Navy Band and the Navy have to offer.

As I said to the above unidentified concertgoer: your Anytown, USA, may not have a Carnegie Hall. This has never been, and never will be, a problem for your Navy Band.

About the Author

Musician 1st Class Eric Brown, from La Porte, Texas, joined the Navy Band in April 2008. He earned a Bachelor of Music from Northwestern University in 2006. Prior to joining the Navy Band he was pursuing a Master of Music at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

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