Thursday, March 1, 2012
This month, the Concert Band and Sea Chanters will be embarking on their national concert tours. Both ensembles will be out for a little less than a month, covering a total of 12 states. It’s hard to believe, but the Concert Band hasn’t performed in Michigan in over 20 years. Our tours are a great opportunity to reach out to communities that don’t get a lot of exposure to the Navy, in addition to sharing some great music.
March 4 is a special date for us as we celebrate the 87th birthday of the United States Navy Band. On this date in 1925, the 68th Congress passed Public Law 611, Title 34, Section 596, which ordained, “That hereafter the band now stationed at the Navy Yard...and known as the Navy Yard Band, shall be designated as the United States Navy Band...” President Calvin Coolidge signed the bill on the day he was inaugurated. I’m happy to report that at 87 years young the band is going strong, and is better than ever.
Believe it or not, summer is right around the corner, and we’re already looking forward to playing outdoors on warm summer evenings at the Capitol steps on Mondays, and at the Navy Memorial on Tuesdays. Our productions team has been hard at work planning our Concerts on the Avenue. These popular concerts, performed on selected Tuesday evenings at the Navy Memorial, treat our audiences to high-energy performances of everything from movie sound tracks to traditional sea shanties to Broadway selections and more. This year’s production also commemorates the bicentennial of the War of 1812.
I’d like to take a moment and thank the Ceremonial Band for their hard work. Over the last two months, they’ve participated in well over 100 ceremonies, many of which were outdoors in very cold temperatures. Through snow, sleet, wind and rain, the Ceremonial Band impeccably represents our Sailors, past and present.
Capt. Brian O. Walden is commanding officer of the United States Navy Band.