By Katie Benfield
The United States Navy Band Brass Quintet will be performing in Boone, one of the five cities throughout North Carolina and Tennessee that were chosen for the Navy Band Tour.
Bishop stated that one of the primary responsibilities of the U.S. Navy Band is the national concert tour. Rather than a single tour, the Navy Band’s national concert tour is a collection of tours throughout the year by the various units of the Navy Band.
The Navy Band Brass Quintet is one of those ensemble units touring throughout various areas.
“All of the members of the group have been on tour with the Navy Concert Band throughout all parts of the country,” Melissa Bishop, Communications Manager for the U.S. Navy Band Public Affairs Office, said. “We are now beginning to send out some of our smaller chamber ensembles into other parts of the country to bring our music into even more communities.”
The Brass Quintet consists of five musicians from the U.S. Navy Concert Band and utilizes various brass instruments, such as two trumpets, a French horn, a trombone and a tuba. The quintet performs both music from a wide range of genres, as well as standard brass quintet pieces.
“The quintet’s repertoire includes over 400 works spanning six centuries,” Bishop said, “with many compositions arranged by the members.”
According to Bishop, the process of choosing where the Brass Quintet will perform is a specific one.
“When we plan out our tours, we have to find sponsors who know about us and what we do,” Bishop said. “Sometimes we map out a route based on potential sponsors who have invites us to perform at their school, church or performance venues.”
The quintet’s trombone player, Chief Musician Colin Wise, is friends with the associate professor of trombone at Appalachian State University, Dr. Drew Leslie, so for the quintet to perform here in Boone isn’t such a wild idea.
But what exactly is the Navy Band? And what does it do?
While some people may question this, according to Bishop, it is one of the signature outreach programs.
“First, our tours enable us to get out of our duty station in Washington, D.C., and into communities across our country. We are able to bring the Navy to places that don’t often get to see the Navy at work,” Bishop said. “Secondly, on our tours, we are often able to perform for students. We are proud to bring music to young people throughout the country. The discovery and enjoyment of music at a young age ensures an awareness and appreciation of the arts, in addition to fostering academic achievement.”
Ever since its founding in 1952, the Navy Band has been not only entertaining audiences but also supporting the Navy with some of the finest musicians in the country. From national concert tours to presidential inaugurals to memorial services at Arlington National Cemetery, the Navy Band proudly represent the men and women of the largest, most versatile, most capable naval force on the planet today: America’s Navy.
“174 enlisted musicians, recruited from the finest music schools and professional musical organizations, perform over 270 public concerts and 1,300 ceremonies each year,” Bishop said. “As the Navy’s musical ambassadors, band members maintain the highest standards of appearance, military bearing and physical fitness.”
Ensembles of the Navy Band have and will continue to embark on various concert tours throughout the nation, each member constantly and consistently shows citizens of America how respectful, dutiful and inspiring it is to be involved in the Navy.
“The national concert tours of the Navy Band serve audiences with entertaining performances but also allow the Navy direct access to both former and future members of the United States Navy,” Bishop said.
The Navy Band Brass Quintet is an ensemble of the Navy Band that is going to do just those things, and Boone is one of the cities chosen for its master craft and performances.
“The group is looking forward to the beautiful mountain views and clean air,” Bishop said, “as well as performing for the people of Boone.”
The United States Navy Band Brass Quintet performance is scheduled for Sept. 18, 2017, at 8 p.m. at the Hayes School of Music’s Rosen Concert Hall at Appalachian State University.