NEW YORK (NNS) -- The Navy Band Northeast Pops Ensemble and the U.S. Fleet Forces Band kicked-off Fleet Week New York with a free concert in Bryant Park, May 20, featuring a wide variety of musical styles including traditional concert band literature, pop, Jazz and patriotic favorites.
Under the direction of Lt. Cmdr. Carl Gerhard, Navy Band Northeast is one of 13 official bands of the United States Navy worldwide, and is comprised of 45 professional Navy musicians, many of whom are from the New York metropolitan area, and welcome a chance to perform in front of the hometown crowd.
"It's a great feeling coming home," said Musician 2nd Class Laura Carey, a native of Garden City Park in Long Island. "I have been lucky to have been previously stationed at Navy Band Northeast, and then with Navy Recruiting District New York, so coming to Fleet Week this year is a welcome homecoming."
Fleet Week New York, now in its 26th year, is the city's celebration of the sea services. It is an unparalleled opportunity for the citizens of New York and the surrounding tri-state area to meet Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, as well as witness firsthand the latest capabilities of today's maritime services. The weeklong celebration has been held nearly every year since 1984.
"I'm just so happy we're able to travel again, and supporting Fleet Week is certainly one of the largest events we'll do all year," said Gerhard. "The incredible exposure our bands have throughout the week - both nationally and internationally via media - is great press for our Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard team. Events like Fleet Week New York are a constant reminder that I serve with the finest Sailors our Navy has ever had, and for them to display their incredible talents on the world's biggest stage is truly a fantastic and rewarding opportunity."
In addition to great musical performances, the general public will have an opportunity to tour participating Navy and Coast Guard ships, and meet the men and women who serve aboard them.
Fleet Week New York events run from May 21-27. For up-to-date information, visit the official Fleet Week New York website at www.fleetweeknewyork.com, "Like" FleetWeekNewYork on Facebook, or "Follow" @FleetWeekNYC on Twitter. Join the conversation on social media by using #FleetWeekNYC.
For more news from Commander, Navy Region Mid Atlantic, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnrma/.