Its 2014 national tour will bring the U.S. Navy Concert Band through Southeast Tennessee next week, with stops in Tullahoma on Tuesday, Feb. 25, and Chattanooga on Wednesday, Feb. 26.
The 80-plus members of the band, considered the premier wind ensemble of the U.S. Navy, perform marches, patriotic selections, orchestral transcriptions and modern wind ensemble repertoire.
On whole, the U.S. Navy Band comprises 170 enlisted musicians. Since its founding in 1925, the full ensemble has grown into a diverse organization of six primary performing groups and a host of smaller ensembles that perform varied styles, including jazz, country, contemporary and chamber music. Also among these units is the Ceremonial Band, which performs at official military and government events in the nation's capital.
In addition to being a recruiting tool for the Navy, the Concert Band's national tour is also meant to entertain citizens who wouldn't regularly see performances in Washington, D.C., and to offer Music in the Schools recitals and masterclasses to young musicians.
Collaboration with celebrities also has become a hallmark for the Concert Band. The band was featured with Arthur Godfrey of NBC radio fame in 1927. Gene Kelly was the guest star for the first episode of "The Navy Hour" radio program in 1945, which the band produced for 23 years. In 2002, the band's performance of "America the Beautiful" was broadcast by the NFL before football games.