Celebrating the Holidays With the U.S. Navy Band (photos)

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Members of the U.S. Navy Band bring holiday cheer: Musicians 1st Class Danlie Cuenca, Chelsi N. Vanderpol, Maia Rodriguez and Sarah L. Tietsort. Photo by Jeff Malet.

The United States Navy Band presented another of its highly entertaining annual holiday concerts at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., giving three performances on Dec. 21 and 22.

Featured along with the Concert Band were the Sea Chanters, the Navy’s official chorus; Country Current, the Navy’s top country-bluegrass ensemble; and the Cruisers, the Navy’s premier popular music group. Of course, there was also a visit from Santa. (Who knew Santa could play the trumpet so well?)

The Navy Band has officially been in existence since 1925, though musical groups of one form or another have been around informally almost as long as the Navy itself. They trace their roots to the sea shanty, a type of work song once commonly sung to accompany labor onboard ship, and from which the band’s official chorus takes its name.

The band’s 170 members and 11 ensembles perform over 1,300 concerts a year all over the world, including the popular Concerts on the Avenue series every summer at Navy Memorial Plaza. Navy Band concerts are free and open to the public.

Military bands perform at parades, presidential inaugurations, state funerals and a variety of other events and ceremonies across the nation. They honor those who have served our country and inspire American citizens to heightened patriotism and service.

Many of our armed forces’ “elite” musical units are based in the D.C. metropolitan area, making the military one of the largest employers of musicians in and around Washington. In addition to the Navy Band, these include the United States Marine Band “The President’s Own,” the United States Air Force Band and the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own.” The United States Coast Guard Band is based in New London, Connecticut, but makes frequent appearances in the District.

View Jeff Malet’s photos from the 2019 U.S. Navy Band Holiday Concert by clicking on the photo icons below.

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