Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Message from the commanding officer

by Capt. Brian O. Walden

The Concert Band and Sea Chanters recently returned from very successful tours of the Midwest. Together, the two groups performed 41 concerts in 12 states for over 50,000 people. We have received an amazing amount of positive feedback from our audiences. Not only have we received emails and phone calls, but many people have chosen to contact us through social media, like Facebook and Twitter. We’re always looking for ways to reach people and share our love of music, as well as the pride and the professionalism of the Navy we are so honored to serve and represent.

Memorial Day is at the end of this month, and I wanted to highlight two events. First, the Ceremonial Band will be participating in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Navy Memorial at 1 p.m. and second, the Sea Chanters will be performing at the National Memorial Day Concert, hosted by Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna. That concert will be broadcast live on PBS starting at 8 p.m. Memorial Day is a chance for all Americans to honor the men and women of our armed forces who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of freedom.

The summer concert season is ramping up now, and will soon be in full swing. We’ll be performing 23 public concerts in May, and 24 in June. Many of our concerts are outdoors, and are a perfect way to spend an hour or two on a nice summer day. Also, our concerts are a great (and cheap!) outing for the entire family.

Finally, we’ve been talking a lot at our concerts about the War of 1812. This year marks the 200th anniversary of that war, a war in which a small U.S. Navy fought the largest naval force in the world, the British Navy, and emerged victorious. All year long we will be celebrating the war’s bicentennial, and the origins of our national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner,” written by Francis Scott Key in Baltimore Harbor during the bombardment of Fort McHenry.

Thank you all for your continued support of the Navy Band, and America’s Navy. It’s our great privilege to represent the world’s greatest Navy to the world’s greatest people.

About the Author

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

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