SAN ANTONIO (NNS) -- To assist in spreading Navy awareness across the country, the U.S. Navy Band, under the direction of Capt. Kenneth Collins, kicked off their 2019 Concert Band National Tour, Feb. 20.
The tour serves audiences with entertaining performances but also allows America’s Navy direct access to both former and future members of the Navy.
On March 1, the concert band journeyed to Seguin, Texas, to perform for a maximum-capacity crowd in the Jackson Auditorium on the campus of Texas Lutheran University.
Attending the concert were Sailors from Navy Recruiting District (NRD) San Antonio whose purpose were to engage with the community and be available to speak with students who may have an interest in joining America’s Navy.
“I am very excited to be here,” said Navy Counselor 1st Class Jose Zouain of Lake Mary, Fla., assigned to Navy Recruiting Station (NRS) San Marcos. “This is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to see the Navy Concert Band perform live. It was great being able to talk with some of the band members but more especially members of the community who came out to hear some great music.”
Nina McGrath, founding director of the San Antonio Youth Wind Ensemble brought 50 of her students to the concert.
“I wanted to showcase to my students that there are opportunities in military service in which they can utilize their musical talents and skills,” said McGrath, whose organization was founded in 2010 as the premier honor wind ensemble for youth in the San Antonio and surrounding areas. “San Antonio is Military City USA and my students need to know that their musical talents do not have to stop after high school or college.”
According to McGrath, having the U.S. Navy Band perform here helps maintain a connection between the public and the military.
On. March 3, the band traveled to Waco to perform for the community and students in the Jones Concert Hall on the campus of Baylor University.
Senior Chief Musician Laura Grantier of Natchez, Miss., the woodwind chief-in-charge for the Navy Band, along with Sailors of NRS Waco, greeted guests who attended.
“It’s good to bring music to areas in the country were there isn’t a large Navy presence,” said Grantier, a clarinetist who have been serving with the band for 24 years. “We have people of all ages come to the concerts, especially military veterans with their families, and students who may have an interest in joining the Navy through our music program.”
According to Grantier, having Navy recruiters present at the concerts play a critical part in the band’s mission success.
“Texas is a huge breeding ground for musicians,” said Grantier. “We have a significant number of Sailors from Texas who are part of the U.S. Navy Band and Baylor University has produced four musicians who are currently serving.”
One of the primary responsibilities of the U.S. Navy Band is its 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.
These tours provide the opportunity to reach out to audiences in areas of the country that may not see the Navy’s premier musical ensembles on a regular basis.
NRD San Antonio’s area of responsibility includes more than 30 Navy Recruiting Stations and Navy Officer Recruiting Stations spread throughout 144,000 square miles of Central and South Texas territory.
Navy Recruiting Command consists of a command headquarters, two Navy Recruiting Regions, 20 Navy Recruiting Districts and six Navy Talent Acquisition Groups that serve more than 1,300 recruiting stations across the country.
For more news from Commander, Navy Recruiting Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnrc/.