INLET, NEW YORK – Around the world, musicians across all 11 U.S. Navy Bands regularly perform with professional civic and military musicians of allied and partner nations. Through these engagements, U.S Navy Bands forge enduring partnerships and display the goodwill of the U.S. Navy and our Nation. These unique musical collaborations are also a wonderful and highly effective means for connecting with the American people and telling the U.S. Navy’s story.
On July 27, Navy Band Northeast (NBNE) had the opportunity to share the stage for the first time with the nationally renowned Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) at historic Arrowhead Park in Inlet, New York. Established in 1922, the 90-member RPO is a musical and cultural icon of New York State. The RPO is comprised of some of the nation’s most accomplished professional musicians, many of whom are full time faculty members at the prestigious Eastman School of Music. For the past 20 years, the RPO has been presenting summer evening concerts at Arrowhead Park.
This year, an invitation was personally extended to NBNE to participate in a collaborative performance during a three-day celebration of music and arts in the Adirondacks. Residents and tourists pour into the Arrowhead Park concert shell each time the RPO visits, often leaving standing room only along the tent’s perimeter.
On July 27th, the 500-member audience audience leapt to their feet as NBNE made their entrance, marching in formation to the backdrop of the orchestra’s performance of “Hands Across the Sea,” by John Philip Sousa. From this impressive ceremonial formation, NBNE then delivered a crisp and flawless performance of the original, historic edition of Anchors Aweigh accompanied by the RPO. The spirit of collaboration continued as Lt. Joel Borrelli-Boudreau, NBNE’s director, took the podium and led the RPO, augmented by the Sailors of NBNE in a rousing performance of American master, Samuel Barber’s “Commando March.” The enthusiastic standing room only audience was then treated to a spectacular rendition of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” under the baton of Maestro Matthew Kramer.
This performance was a tour de force, complete with the professional musicians of NBNE and Howitzer cannons. This unique artistic venture was brought to a thunderous conclusion when the combined ensemble delivered a definitive performance of Sousa’s magnum opus, “Stars and Stripes Forever.” The audience was enthralled with the evening’s entertainment and delivered a long and thunderous standing ovation. The flawless performance by the Sailors of NBNE served to represent the U.S. Naval War College in the highest fashion. Performance opportunities in destinations such as Inlet, New York, allow Navy Bands to reach a broader demographic of the American public than typical performances provide, uniquely reaching a cross-section of our country’s diverse population.