And why shouldn't this be so? We're honored to have a Navy band play for us; they're our brothers and sisters. We recognize excellence in performance; we're musicians. And we know the challenges of ceremonial band performance; we're MUs. We've all stood in formation on piers and quarterdecks, in hangers and ballrooms.
On June 28, 2014, the ceremonial unit of the United States Navy Fleet Forces Band performed for us. President Chesson, as always, warned them of the reception to come. Their performance, as always, earned our enthusiastic response. After the concert, as always, we wandered the ballroom in a collective daze, asking each other, "My god, could we have possibly sounded this good when we were in uniform?"
Here's their performance of "The Stars and Stripes Forever." I originally planned to post only the trio, because the piccolo soloist is so...I don't know, "outstanding" seems a little weak. You have to hear and see for yourself what he brings to the world's most well-known piccolo solo. But then I decided to include the previous breakup strain for context. Then I had to include the ensuing breakup strain so you could hear the applause. Then I wanted you to hear the band's balance and precision in the first strain, their dynamics and--
Here's the whole damn march.