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Williamsport to Host Navy Band Commodores

Oct 14, 2014 11:08PM ● Published by Erica Shames

America's Navy is coming home to Williamsport, Pa., one of 18 cities in four states to host a performance by the United States Navy Band Commodores during its 2014 tour - one of the Navy's signature outreach programs.

The United States Navy Band Commodores’ performance is scheduled for Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. at the Williamsport Area High School auditorium, 2990 W. Fourth St., in Williamsport.

Jazz is America’s music and the U.S. Navy Band Commodores, the Navy’s premier jazz ensemble, have been performing the very best of big band jazz for the Navy and the nation for more than 40 years. Formed in 1969, this 18-member group continues the jazz big band legacy with some of the finest musicians in the world. Led by Master Chief Musician Philip Burlin, the Commodores’ mission includes public concerts, national concert tours, ceremonial support in honoring our veterans, jazz education classes and clinics, and protocol performances for high-level military and civilian government officials.

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. The concerts are family-friendly events, meant to be entertaining to veterans, families, individuals and those interested in joining the Navy.

"America's Navy has only recently adopted the motto, 'Being There Matters,' but it's been a part of what we do for many years - through music - and therefore Navy bands are integral to our national security," said Capt. Brian O. Walden, the Navy Band’s commanding officer. "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."

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, 2013, that enables the military services to resume conducting community and public outreach activities in 2014, albeit at a significantly reduced capacity.

"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," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in an internal memorandum to service chiefs and other military leaders. "These proactive engagements showcase our superior combat power, demonstrate readiness to defend the nation, and help to preserve the all-volunteer force."

All Navy Band performances are free and open to the public.

For more information about this concert, please check out the band’s website at navyband.navy.mil/national_tour.shtml.

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