U.S. Navy Band’s Concerts on the Avenue Return to D.C. with a Flourish (photos)


To the delight of its many fans, the United States Navy Band has resumed a full summer schedule for its popular “Concerts on the Avenue” series at the U.S. Navy Memorial Plaza in the heart of Washington, D.C.

The full “Concert on the Avenue” on selected Tuesday evenings combines the talent and professionalism of the Concert Band; the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard; and the Sea Chanters, the U.S. Navy’s official chorus. Remaining “Concerts on the Avenue” are scheduled for June 21, June 28, July 26 and Aug. 2 at 7:30 p.m. On alternate Tuesday evenings on the Plaza, you can see a concert from one of the Navy Band’s other performing groups (see the schedule below.) All performances are free and open to the public.

The “Concert on the Avenue” begins with a procession of 56 state and territorial flags, each one carried by a member of the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard, followed by a command performance by the United States Navy Drill Team executing precision actions with 1903 Springfield rifles, all with 10-inch fixed bayonets. 

The one-hour musical program features a tribute to the late Stephen Sondheim with selections from “West Side Story”; the theme from the mega-hit ‘Top Gun” with its iconic electric guitar solo; a traditional sea shanty; a medley of Disco favorites; plus other popular and patriotic standards. (It is not unusual to find members of the audience dancing along.) Current and former members of the military are asked to stand and be recognized during “Armed Forces on Parade,” a medley of service songs, now incorporating the new U.S. Space Force Anthem. Every “Concert on the Avenue” concludes with a rousing rendition of John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever” including the not often heard vocal finish by the Sea Chanters chorus.

The venue for these summer concerts is the open-air U.S. Navy Memorial Plaza located between 7th and 9th Streets along Pennsylvania Avenue NW (adjacent to the Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter Metro stop on the Yellow/Green Lines.) Navy Memorial Plaza sits upon the largest map of the world, known as the “Granite Sea.” It is home to the iconic Lone Sailor statue, towering masts with signal flags, fountain pools and 26 bronze sculptures depicting Navy history. The nearby United States Navy Memorial Visitor Center (open daily, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) tells the story of the American Sailor — past, present and future — and honors, recognizes and celebrates the men and women of the Sea Services. Through engaging and interactive exhibits, multimedia experiences, and over 700,000 stories of service the Visitor Center inspires and informs more than 110,000 visitors each year of the history and heritage of the United States Navy.

Military bands in the U.S. trace their beginnings to a simple fife and snare drum unit used to communicate signals on the battlefield. Today, military bands play an important patriotic role for soldiers and citizens alike and some of our most famous entertainers honed their talents with military bands. 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.

The U.S. Navy band is but one of our armed forces’ elite musical units that are based in the Washington, D.C., area, where you can see a high-quality, family-oriented performance on virtually any day during the summer months. Best of all, they are free.

“Concerts on the Avenue are a great way to spend an evening in our nation’s capital,” said retired Rear Admiral Frank Thorp, President and CEO of the Navy Memorial. “Sailors in the Navy Band are some of the best musicians, and performers, in the country. The Navy Memorial is honored to host their performances every Tuesday during the summer.”

 

Below is the 2022 Summer Concerts Schedule at the Navy Memorial: at 7:30 PM on Navy Memorial Plaza (weather permitting)

June 21 | The United States Navy Band & Ceremonial Guard

June 28 | The United States Navy Band & Ceremonial Guard

July 5 | Commodores (jazz ensemble)

July 12 | Country Current (country-bluegrass ensemble)

July 19 | Sea Chanters (official chorus)

July 26 | The United States Navy Band & Ceremonial Guard

Aug 2 | The United States Navy Band & Ceremonial Guard

Aug 9 | Sea Chanters (official chorus)

Aug 16 | Cruisers (a variety of musical genres)

The Navy Band travels extensively. For a full schedule of Navy Band events click here

View a slideshow of Jeff Malet’s photos from the May 31 and June 14 Concerts on the Avenue from Navy Memorial Plaza in Washington D.C. by clicking on the photo icons below.

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