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U.S. Navy Band in Concert
March 20 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pmFREE
As part of its 2019 National Tour, the U.S. Navy Band’s Sea Chanters Chorus is making a stop in Cleveland to perform in concert Wednesday, March 20, at Lee University’s Conn Center.
Adam Grimm, public affairs officer with the Navy Band, said the band is set to perform a wide variety of music for the people of Cleveland.
“We are the premiere musical organization of the U.S. Navy, and our job is to connect with folks, both here in the U.S. and overseas with our Navy,” Grimm said. “We want people to have a better understanding and awareness of what the Navy is doing, and why it’s doing it.”
The entire Navy Band consists of hundreds of members, but the Sea Chanters Chorus, the group visiting Cleveland, is comprised of 20 musicians plus an audio engineer.
The Sea Chanters are a vocal ensemble comprised of a small chorus with a rhythm section. Its membership is vacancy-driven, so if a member retires or leaves, auditions will be held and accepted from all across the country.
The process is incredibly rigorous, according to Grimm. Nearly every member has a bachelor’s degree in music, and over half have advance degrees in music. The average age of members is 27, and Grimm says the Navy Band only hires experienced, professional musicians.
“We need them to be great musicians from day one, then we can teach them how to be sailors,” he added.
There are multiple ensembles in the Navy Band, each utilizing different instruments and sounds. The Sea Chanters are the Navy’s vocalists who can perform a wide variety of music, ranging from opera and Broadway to popular music and foreign-language music.
The U.S. Navy Band was officially established by law in 1925; however, bands have been a common but unofficial part of the Navy since around 1775. The Sea Chanters were established in 1956.
As far as musical styles go, the Sea Chanters will perform a mix of Broadway songs, patriotic tunes, popular music, jazz and several unique songs like a popular medley from the 1980s of “Take On Me” and “Video Killed the Radio Star.”
Grimm proudly asserts audiences always leave the Sea Chanters’ show with smiles on their faces and a renewed sense of pride in both the Navy and their nation.
Despite having over 600 musicians, with 11 bands throughout the U.S. and of the U.S. armed forces branches, who each have their own bands.
The Navy Band is used as a public outreach tool along with its entertainment factor, as are other programs like the flight demonstration team the Blue Angels, the parachute team called the Leap Frogs, and several others.
According to Grimm, the country has the widest military-to-civilian gap it’s ever experienced, with less than half of the population currently serving and less than 7 percent ever having served.
“People don’t really know much about the military other than what they see in movies and on TV, so we go out and make face-to-face connections with people. Plus, we represent the sailors who are out there deployed working to keep us safe every day,” Grimm said. “We’re also busy building and maintaining good relationships with our allies overseas. Through them, they help us win hearts and minds in other countries as well.”
The Sea Chanters are constantly on the go, with a three-week tour in the near future for them. They also perform a number of public concerts, with several members splintering off every so often to do things like sing the national anthem, or perform in small groups for senior Navy and government officials. The Sea Chanters were even at the White House a few weeks ago.
There is a recruiting element, particularly for the Navy, in events such as this. While armed forces like the Army have bases all over the country, most of the Navy’s activity is, of course, limited to the coast. Performing around the country allows people to see people serving in the Navy as well.
“We aren’t just talking to the recruits, we’re talking to their parents and grandparents, because we want people to know that the Navy is a viable career option for young people. We need the best and brightest so that we can continue doing what we’re doing,” Grimm said.
Grimm encourages all of Cleveland to come check out this special, free concert on March 20, as it’s not only a great night of entertainment, but also lets the audience connect with its Navy and renew their sense of pride in the nation.
In addition to the show itself, the Navy Band takes a moment at every show to recognize the services of veterans, to honor what they’ve done for them and the nation.
Tickets are free and can be claimed at the Cleveland Daily Banner at 1505 25th St. or by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to P.O. Box 3600, Cleveland TN 37320-3600.
The show starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Lee University Conn Center.
For more information, check out the U.S. Navy’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube channels or its website at www.navyband.navy.mil.
Cleveland Daily Banner