Naval War College sends band to USS Colorado commissioning, students to learn about submarines

Photo of Navy Band Northeast's brass quintet

GROTON, Ct. – U.S. Naval War College’s (NWC) Navy Band Northeast traveled to six states during the month of March, providing musical support for 27 events and reaching live audiences of more than 36,000 and televised audiences of more than 195,000. 

Keynote events included participation in the city of Scranton’s 56th and the city of Philadelphia’s 246th annual St. Patrick’s Day parades in Pennsylvania – both first time events for the band; several events performed for K-12 schools in New Jersey and Rhode Island as part of “Music in the Schools” month; and a weeklong “Music for Recruiting” initiative in collaboration with Navy Recruiting District New York, New York. 

Their most notable event, however, took place pierside at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut for the commissioning of the Navy’s newest Virginia-class submarine, USS Colorado (SSN 778). 

It was there where they continued a time-honored tradition of playing the Navy Service Song, “Anchors Aweigh,” as the 134-member crew symbolically ran to man the rails and the ship’s sponsor, Annie Mabus – daughter Ray Mabus, the 75th secretary of the Navy – instructed the crew to “bring her to life!”

“Navy Band Northeast continues to proudly represent the U.S. Naval War College, Naval Station Newport, and all of the men and women of the U.S. Navy,” said Lt. Joel L. Borrelli, director of Navy Band Northeast. “Wherever our Sailors perform, they display professionalism, musical excellence, and make a deep and meaningful impression on our military and civilian audiences.”

After the commissioning, students from NWC’s Joint Military Operations (JMO) intermediate-level course took advantage the opportunity by taking a class trip to get a feel for the Navy’s undersea warfare capabilities.

“The group was fortunate enough to visit bookends of the Navy’s nuclear attack submarine program, touring our newest submarine, USS Colorado, only two days in commission and the world’s first nuclear-powered vessel, USS Nautilus,” said Capt. James P. McGrath, a military professor in the JMO department. “We also took the opportunity to tour the Submarine Force Library and Museum to get an understanding of the rich history of the American submarine force. Visits such as this expand the knowledge base of our future joint force leaders and instill an appreciation for the challenges and opportunities of submarine force employment.”


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Musician 3rd Class April Griffin, U.S. Navy Band Northeast, and Capt. James P. McGrath, Joint Military Operations Department
March 20, 2018

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