Each year, the U.S. Navy Band tours throughout specified regions of the country, reaching audiences that do not generally get to see these musical ensembles perform on a regular basis. On February 19th, Commerce, Texas, will be host to the band, one of 22 cities chosen as part of this year's outreach.
"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 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."
The Navy Band’s 2014 tour includes 22 performances in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. The band will travel more than 5,300 miles, traveling by bus and truck an average of more than four hours each day.
The Commerce event will take place at the Finney Concert Hall in the music building on the campus of Texas A&M University-Commerce on February 19th at 7:00 p.m. All Navy Band performances are free and open to the public. Ticket information about this concert is available at the band’s website.