By CALVIN PYNN
America’s Navy is coming home to Blacksburg, one of 18 cities in six states selected to host a performance by the United States Navy Band Sea Chanters chorus during its 2014 national tour – one of the Navy’s signature outreach programs.
The United States Navy Band Sea Chanters’ performance is scheduled for Mar. 27 at 7 p.m. at the Blacksburg High School Auditorium.
According to a news release from Glenn Sircy, the media outreach department head for the Navy Office of Community Outreach (NAVCO), the Navy Band Sea Chanters is the United States Navy’s official chorus. The ensemble performs a variety of music ranging from traditional choral music, including sea chanteys and patriotic fare, to opera, Broadway, and contemporary music.
One of the U.S. Navy Band’s primary responsibilities involves touring the country. All of the band’s primary performing units embark each year on concert tours throughout specified regions of the country, allowing the band to reach out to audiences in areas of the country that do not have opportunities to see the Navy’s premier musical ensembles on a regular basis.
According to Sircy, the concerts are family-friendly events, meant to entertain veterans, families, individuals and those interested in joining the Navy.
Capt. Brian O. Walden, the Navy Band’s commanding officer, said that Navy bands are integral to the country’s national security, citing their motto, ‘Being there matters.’
“Today, Navy bands are still performing around the world, acting as agents of public diplomacy for the American government, improving relations with our allies and winning the hearts and minds with the universal language of music,” said Walden
According to Sircy, these national tours return following a year in which sequestration and its impact on outreach spending forced several of them to be suspended. Pentagon officials announced a plan Oct. 18 that enables the military services to resume conducting community and public outreach activities in 2014.
“Community and public outreach is a crucial departmental activity that reinforces trust and confidence in the United States military and in its most important asset – people,” said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. “These proactive engagements showcase our superior combat power, demonstrate readiness to defend the nation, and help to preserve the all-volunteer force.”
The Sea Chanters’ 2014 tour includes 18 performances in Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. According to Sircy, they will travel more than 4,300 miles, traveling by bus and truck an average of more than four hours each day.
All Navy Band performances are free and open to the public. For ticket information about this concert can visit the band’s website at http://www.navyband.navy.mil/national_tour.shtml.