CLEVELAND, Ohio (NNS) -- The Fleet Forces Band 'Four Star Edition' contemporary ensemble performed the public in and around the Cleveland area in conjunction with the Cleveland National Air Show held at the Burke Lakefront Airport from Aug. to Sept. 1.
The Band played for Elyria High School and Cuyahoga Heights High School on Aug. 29. They played at the Cleveland National Air Show during the air show and held a pregame concert outside Progressive field prior to the Cleveland Indians vs. the Detroit Tigers Labor Day Game. Additionally The Band's vocalist, Musician 3rd Class Julius Coker, sang "God Bless America" during the seventh inning stretch.
According to the Four Star Edition Unit Leader and Bassist, Musician 1st Class Richard Bruns the each Fleet Band does at least 200 engagements a year.
Bruns said, "I'm excited that the band is now able to travel more, get out in front of the public, and support Navy Recruiting. Funding has made that difficult in the past several years."
Bruns stated that joining the band is a difficult process and that the audition prior to enlisting is extremely competitive, with the average candidate having at least a master's degree and many having doctorate's degrees.
Bruns said, "It's a great job. I get to play with world-class musicians every day. I've been lucky to have been assigned to the Seventh Fleet Band in Japan and the Naval Forces Europe Band in Italy so I've traveled a lot. I've performed in 54 countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe. I'm very proud of the support that Navy Music provides to U.S public diplomacy missions around the world."
Bruns went on to say, "I think we are a very effective icebreaker and make the Navy seem much more human to potential recruits."
According to Navy Recruiting District (NRD) Ohio Chief Recruiter, Master Chief Navy Counselor Jeffery Kempton, the goal when the Navy participates in events is to raise Navy awareness in the local communities.
Kempton said, "I think it is awesome whenever the local community can be exposed to real Navy assets. Whether they join the Navy or not, for many people this may be their only opportunity to witness this live Navy spectacle."
Kempton stated that the Navy Bands have always supported Navy Recruiting playing live shows at events, high schools and universities.
Kempton said, "They are very well received and for many people reveal a side of the Navy that very few ever knew existed."
The Navy Band consists of six primary performing groups and a host of smaller ensembles; which are comprised of 170 enlisted musicians recruited from the finest music schools and professional musical organizations. The Navy Band performances reflect the pride and professionalism of the Sailors serving our country around the world.
For more news from Navy Recruiting District Ohio, visit www.navy.mil/local/nrdo/.