Monday, October 29, 2012

One of the occasional perks of tour: free gourmet local cuisine!

by Senior Chief Musician Steve Williams
Our visit to Artesia, New Mexico was thoroughly delightful. Artesia is an interesting town located in southeastern New Mexico. The community’s economy is based largely on the oil and gas industry (as evidenced by the large refinery directly across from our lodging, very interesting!) and various agricultural activities.

Upon our arrival at the hotel, we were greeted by several townspeople who were hosting a benefit for an organization that helps the victims of domestic violence. Many of the restaurants in the community were participating in this worthy cause by serving up samples of their cuisine in the lobby of the Hotel Artesia, where the Commodores were billeted for the evening. Joy Barr, the general manager of our hotel, graciously invited the Commodores to the event. We were treated to wonderful southwestern cuisine, including several delicious versions of barbeque, jalapeno poppers and many dishes based on green chilies. Yum!

The concert that evening, held at the Artesia High School Auditorium was received enthusiastically. Our sponsors, the Artesia Arts Council, were organized, helpful and couldn’t have been more welcoming. A contingent of the local NJROTC (“Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps” – for high school age young adults) was in attendance. Many members of the Commodores spoke with this group following the concert.

Our new music director, Chief Musician Rob Holmes, ensured the band was well prepared for this year’s tour. The results of Chief Holmes' careful preparations were clearly apparent as the band played extremely well with fine solos all around. Bravo Zulu Chief Holmes!

Our visit to Artesia was a wonderful experience. We offer many thanks to our sponsors and the entire community of Artesia. We look forward to visiting you again someday!

About the Author

Senior Chief Musician Stephen Williams is a native of Pensacola, Fla. and joined Navy Band Commodores in March 1994. The unit’s lead saxophonist since 1997, he was the music director from 2003 until 2009. He has composed/arranged over 40 compositions for the group and produced its recently released CD, “Directions.”

No comments: