By Emily Holmes and Adrienne Goodrich
Freelance Writer and Online Editor
Trumpets, saxophones, drums, trombones, bass, and a guitar could be heard coming from the Psalm Center on Saturday, Sept. 25. The U.S. Navy Band performed a variety of Big Band songs led by U.S. Navy Chief Hawes.
According to Hawes the band that came to Corban is part of the legacy left by a previous Navy band whose 25 members died during the Dec. 7 bombing of Pearl Harbor. The band was getting ready to participate in the final musical competition between different military branch bands when they were killed aboard their ship.
The 16 band members come from places as far away as New York and Kentucky,
and as close as Washington and Alaska. They tour 12 northwest states performing
450 times a year to recruit band members and build community.
They performed songs such as, “Isn’t She Lovely” and “Cry Me a River” and “Take the Eight Train.”
One band member, Stephanie Brainard, doubled as a saxophone player and a vocalist. Brainard’s talent showed not only in her saxophone playing but also in her expressions and performance attitude. In one song, she scrunched up her nose in a sassy, flirtatious gesture and sang, “And every stop that we made I thought about you.”
Band members seemed supportive of each other. When soloists played, their comrades often smiled, nodded, and tapped their shiny black shoes. When a trumpet player who had only been with the band for a few months performed his solo, Hawes congratulated him with a hug on the way back to his seat.
While the Psalm Center was by no means packed, some students appreciated the variety of music. Student Kimberly Liu said that the music reminder her of swing dancing. “Excellent variety,” she said.
“Love it,” Elisabeth Doornink said. She has been going to Navy band performances all her life but she especially enjoyed the twist on the song “Sing Sing.”
The U.S. Navy Band is a highly competitive profession. According to Hawes, while new members go through Navy boot camp, they are not deployed. The first step to joining is an audition. Those interested can visit the audition page of the Navy Band website at http://www.navyband.navy.mil/Auditions.shtml