School of Music to Celebrate 77 Years of Training

Story Number: NNS120625-14Release Date: 6/25/2012 10:09:00 PM
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By Musician 1st Class Jessica McClanahan, Center for Service Support Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- The School of Music will celebrate 77 years as an established learning site June 29 with a free, public concert at the Gator Theater on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story (JEB LC-FS), Va.

The Gator Theater on JEB LC-FS will host the School of Music's faculty and staff Wind Ensemble in honor of this milestone in training.

According to the Naval History and Heritage Command, "musician" became an officially recognized rating in 1838. Ninety-seven years later, a formal training center for the professional development of Navy MUs was established June 26, 1935 in Washington, D.C.

Today, musician (MU) is the only rating in the Navy that requires a certain level of technical proficiency prior to enlistment, and yet it has one of the longest "A" schools in the service at 21 weeks.

Navy and Marine Corps students study music theory and ear training, participate in drill band and student ensembles, as well as take one- on -one lessons with an instructor who is a subject matter expert on their particular instrument. "C" School students attend the Unit Leader Course or Senior Musician Course and train in the same topics at an advanced level, as well as develop skills as a drum major, rehearsal director, and conductor. These Sailors and Marines are E-5 to E-8 and have been selected for further training based on their leadership qualities and instrumental proficiency.

During the past 77 years, the training of musicians at the School of Music has been conducted by Navy and Marine Corps active duty musicians. Those selected for instructor duty at the School of Music are regarded as some of the best musicians in their respective service. Most have earned a degree in music performance or music education and have continued to accumulate professional experience beyond the classroom. They have also demonstrated their leadership abilities and unwavering commitment to service.

"At the School of Music we have tremendously talented performers. Concerts such as these not only gives us an opportunity to show off these great performers, but also gives them an opportunity to work on high caliber material in a first-rate ensemble which is critical to all of us in maintaining our skills," said School of Music Commanding Officer Cmdr. Ralph Ingraham. "In addition, it serves as a moment of inspiration for the high-quality students who are involved in the performance, as well as for the rest of the students, who will have an opportunity to hear a truly great band."

The ensemble for the concert is comprised of Navy and Marine Corps instructors and students as well as Army School of Music instructors. This tri-service event is one of two annual public concerts produced by the School of Music.

For more information about the School of Music, visit

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