Our Cleveland and Bradley County hometown’s love for veterans, and our loyalty to America’s military that keeps us free, is one of the worst-kept secrets in Tennessee and across much of the …
Our Cleveland and Bradley County hometown’s love for veterans, and our loyalty to America’s military that keeps us free, is one of the worst-kept secrets in Tennessee and across much of the Southeast U.S. region.
We also appreciate music, and when musicians throw in a mix of patriotic tunes it’s love at first sight for most in our community.
That’s why we believe a concert coming to Lee University is going to drum up some attention; in fact, it already has.
We speak of next week’s performance in Conn Center by the U.S. Navy Band’s Sea Chanters Chorus, a talented group of uniformed musicians who will be stopping off in Cleveland as part of the 2019 National Tour.
Co-sponsored by Lee University, Neely Printing and the Cleveland Daily Banner, the inspirational night of music will get underway at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20.
Here’s another big part of the treat: It’s free!
Those wishing to attend may pick up tickets at the Banner offices at 1505 25th St. N.W.; or, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Cleveland Daily Banner, P.O. Box 3600, Cleveland TN 37320-3600.
As beautiful as the music will be, as performed by the Sea Chanters, the visit to Cleveland is also part of the U.S. Navy Band’s bigger picture. It’s about making a personal connection with audiences, not just in America but overseas.
Adam Grimm, public affairs officer with the Navy Band, said it best.
“We want people to have a better understanding and awareness of what the Navy is doing, and why it’s doing it,” Grimm told the Cleveland Daily Banner.
The entire Navy Band consists of hundreds of members, but the Sea Chanters Chorus is comprised of 20 musicians, plus an audio engineer.
Are they sailors or are they musicians?
Actually, they are incredible musicians who also wear the uniform of the U.S. Navy. Every member has a bachelor’s degree in music, and more than half have advanced degrees. The average age of the musicians is 27, and the Navy Band accepts only the best.
The Sea Chanters are the Navy’s vocalists who can perform a wide variety of music, ranging from opera and Broadway to popular music and foreign-language music.
As for their musical style, the Sea Chanters will perform a mix of Broadway songs, patriotic tunes, popular music, jazz and several unique songs like a popular medley from the 1980s of “Take On Me” and “Video Killed the Radio Star.”
Such performances help to bridge the gap between the American military and Americans, most of whom know a little about the nation’s armed forces, but not a lot.
“People don’t really know much about the military other than what they see in movies and on TV, so we go out and make face-to-face connections with people,” Grimm said. “Plus, we represent the sailors who are out there deployed, working to keep us safe every day.”
He added, “We’re also busy building and maintaining good relationships with our allies overseas. Through them, they help us win hearts and minds in other countries, as well.”
Like other segments of the U.S. Navy Band, the Sea Chanters stay on the go. They’re getting ready for a rigorous three-week tour; plus, they perform regularly in public concerts. A few weeks ago, the group performed at the White House.
Obviously, the Sea Chanters serve as an unparalleled means for recruitment. When audiences learn more about them, individuals learn more about the Navy.
“We aren’t just talking to the recruits,” Grimm explained. “We’re talking to their parents and grandparents, because we want people to know the Navy is a viable career option for young people. We need the best and brightest so that we can continue doing what we’re doing.”
A special moment at each concert comes when Sea Chanters performers recognize the veterans — retired and active duty — in the crowd.
In our hometown, veterans mean everything. Many are expected to be in the Conn Center crowd. We urge as many as possible, and their families and loved ones, to attend.
Want more information? Visit www.navyband.navy, or check out the U.S. Navy’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube channels.
It’s free and it’s well worth your decision to visit Conn Center next Wednesday.
Remember: Pick up your tickets here at the Banner offices, or send us a stamped, self-addressed envelope. We’ll take care of the rest.
We hope to see you there!
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