On February 2nd, Navy Band Northeast’s Ceremonial Band provided musical support as the USS SOUTH DAKOTA (SSN 790) was ushered into the chronicles of Naval Service. This historic ceremony marked the commissioning of the Navy’s 17th Virginia Class submarine. Measuring 370 feet long, or 10 feet further than a standard football field, USS South Dakota presented an awe-inspiring sight that dwarfed Pier 2 in Groton, CT. Her formidable presence displayed the unmatched capabilities of the world’s most powerful and sophisticated Navy.
Celebrating milestones in the lifespan of a newly designed Naval vessel is a long and proud heritage of the Navy Music Program. In particular, supporting commissioning ceremonies is a point of pride for the Sailors of Navy Band Northeast, and each ship lithograph from every ceremony is proudly displayed in the band’s facility. During these ceremonies, the band performs patriotic marches, provides full honors, renders "Eternal Father," and presents the Star Spangled Banner. However, the emotional high point of each ceremony occurs when the ship is “brought to life.” During this point, the band performs an uplifting performance of "Anchors Aweigh" while the crew rushes to man the rails for the first time. From keel laying, to christenings, and ultimately to commissioning ceremonies, Navy Band Northeast is proud to play a key role in the birth of these modern technological marvels.
With each new vessel brought to life, Navy Band Northeast provides a greater context to these time-honored customs, demonstrating the transformative power of naval musical tradition. When our sailors perform alongside the crews, sponsors, veterans, and members of the general public, our musicians tell the proud story of our naval service, and inspire the appreciation and support of our men and women serving around the world.