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    Navy Musicians Perform and Discuss Navy-life with Thousands of New York Students

    Navy Musicians Perform and Discuss Navy-life with Thousands of New York Students

    Photo By Chief Petty Officer Travis Simmons | FREEPORT, New York (Oct. 26, 2017) Musicians from Navy Band Northeast's Rhode Island...... read more read more

    Navy musicians from Rhode Island hosted three days of concerts and band clinics for more than 3,000 students in Queens and Long Island Oct. 24- 27.

    Navy Band Northeast’s popular music group Rhode Island Sound performed for Queens’ high schools Francis Lewis and Benjamin Cardoza, as well as Freeport High School in Long Island. They held four concerts playing top 40 hits and mixed in five clinics for the schools band members where they discussed everything from auditions, education, personal experiences, performance anxiety, and traveling the world.

    “The music was so upbeat and so emotional; everyone knows the words to these songs,” said Tiffany Tavares, a junior at Freeport with seven years of experience on the violin.

    The musicians set up the stage and auditoriums with entire light shows and sound control gear. The band’s singer came off the stage to walk, dance and clap along with the audience.

    “I liked the way the band interacted with the audience and it was like I was at a concert,” said Tavares.

    The band’s mission to the Navy is to provide musical support for military ceremonies, recruiting, morale and retention programs, and community relations. The crew teamed up with Sailors from Navy Recruiting District New York through the Music for Recruiting Program to highlight various job opportunities and answer questions students had about life in the Navy.

    During a clinic at Francis Lewis High School, Musician 2nd Class Loralee Swanson, a trombonist for more than 20 years, sat among the students and provided instruction and encouragement while intently listening to them play.

    “Our whole job in the musician field in the Navy is to be ambassadors,” said Swanson. “We do play music very well, but we are the face of not only the Navy, but of the American public when we go out, especially to foreign countries.”

    “Music translates to friendship throughout the world,” said Swanson.

    During another clinic, Chief Musician Ian Charleton talked to band students about his life in music, played the scale on his saxophone, spoke about the audition process and what led him to want to join the Navy.

    “The road to my success was not always easy and you have to dedicate a certain amount of time to your instrument if you want to be good,” said Charleton.

    After a student asked about the degree level of all the students, Charleton let each musician discuss their degrees. All 12 musicians had a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, with some entering the Navy with, or currently working on, their master’s degree or even doctorate.

    “We have the Student Loan Repayment Program,” said Charleton. “That’s a big incentive for some people, because when you have someone who comes in having been to a conservatory or university with a crushing student loan, being able to serve for four years and come out debt free on the other side is a big incentive.”

    Musicians that make the cut after the audition are referred to a local recruiter to start ensuring they are fully qualified to serve, process through a military entrance processing station, and ship off to boot camp at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois.

    Musically-qualified applicants are then assigned to one of nine locations, to include six continental U.S. spots, Japan, Italy, and Hawaii.

    The band played two 45-minute performances in the auditorium of Freeport High School to more than 1,500 students.

    “We thought the band was going to come out and play ceremonial music,” said Sean Wilson, student and trumpet player for two years. “The Navy Band was energetic, enthusiastic, and entertaining.”

    One of the most popular songs played was Demi Lovato’s “Stone Cold,” where dozens of students held up their lit cellphone up to sway back and forth to the slower, more personal song of the set list.

    “What we try to do is translate what we know through music into friendships in the United Nations,” said Swanson. “I think my job feels almost even more important to me than just as a normal musician, because I’m kind of a tool to create friendships and bonds between people. I really enjoy that part of my job.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 10.27.2017
    Date Posted: 11.29.2017 11:13
    Story ID: 256724
    Location: NY, US

    Web Views: 72
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