Navy Band Great Lakes Spreads Holiday Concert Cheer for All to Hear

Story Number: NNS151216-21Release Date: 12/16/2015 7:00:00 PM
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By Scott A. Thornbloom, Naval Service Training Command Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- Navy Band Great Lakes (NBGL) recently spread holiday cheer that was music to many ears as the "Ambassadors to the Midwest" performed three holiday concerts in a week December 6, 13 and 14.

The "A Claus for Celebration" free concerts were part of an annual holiday celebration by the band. The concerts were free and open to the public at North Chicago (Ill.,) High School, Lakes (Lake Villa, Ill.,) Community High School and before more than 500 Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) cadets at Hyman G. Rickover Naval Academy in Chicago.

"It was nice to get out and perform in three new venues this year and spread holiday cheer to our local community," said Master Chief Musician Todd Smeltzer, Navy Band Great Lakes assistant director and senior enlisted. "A special treat for us was having some of North Chicago's students perform with us as well as sharing the stage with the Lakes Area Community Band. Especially touching, and fitting, was the standing ovation during our show, when we paid tribute to all those service members and their families who wouldn't be able to be with their loved ones over the holidays. It is for them we are most grateful!"

"Pride in Service" has been the theme for Navy Band Great Lakes for more than 100 years. From 1911, when the first bugler reported for duty to bandmaster John Philip Sousa to today's bandmaster, Navy Lt. Geordie Kelly, the music of Navy Band Great Lakes represents the pride and professionalism that is synonymous with the United States Navy.

Homeported on Naval Station Great Lakes and serving Commander, Naval Service Training Command's (NSTC) mission of transforming volunteers into 21st century Sailors, Navy Band Great Lakes performs ceremonies to honor recruits, active duty and retired Sailors, and their families. Also, as the Navy's "Ambassadors to the Midwest," Navy Band Great Lakes performs for thousands of spectators annually. They provide musical support to communities of all sizes as well as supporting Navy recruiting in a nine state area stretching from Michigan to North Dakota.

For more information about Navy Band Great Lakes log on to the band's website at or log into the band's Facebook page at

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