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U.S. Navy Band plans Tharptown concert as part of nationwide tour

The United States Navy is coming to Russellville, one of 18 cities in nine states to host a performance by the United States Navy Band during its 2019 tour – one of the signature outreach programs of the U.S. Navy.

The United States Navy Band Sea Chanters performance is scheduled for March 16 at 7 p.m. at Tharptown High School gymnasium.

Senior chief musician Adam Grimm explained the U.S. Navy Band sends its ensembles – six distinct groups in all – to different regions of the country. Within each region, Grimm said the Navy look to string together concerts “so that we can perform a different city or town each day and have time to bus to the next concert,” Grimm said. “It’s quite a jigsaw puzzle, but when all is said and done, we’re able to reach parts of our country that don’t often get to have face-to-face interactions with sailors.”

The U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters is the official chorus of America’s Navy. The ensemble performs a variety of music, ranging from traditional choral music – including sea chanteys and patriotic fare – to opera, Broadway and contemporary music.

“The Sea Chanters will perform more than a dozen different songs,” Grimm said. “On this tour they’ll cover everything from patriotic fare, traditional folk songs, Broadway, 1980s pop and more. Everyone will leave that concert with a smile on their face and with pride in their Navy and nation.”

According to the U.S. Navy Band’s website, audiences across the country “have received the Navy Band with warm support and appreciation. Whether in a local gymnasium or in a famous concert hall, the Navy Band strives to perform with all of the precision and energy that befits its stature.”

Grimm said Russellville attendees, like all music-lovers who will get the chance to see the Sea Chanters chorus in performance, are in for a treat. The Sea Chanters can frequently be found at the center of high-profile national events, and at home in Washington, D.C., the group performs for the president, vice president and numerous congressional, military and foreign dignitaries.

The March 16 concert will be family-friendly and offer free admission.

Tharptown Principal Barry Laster said a representative from the Navy Band contacted him by email to gauge the school’s willingness to host the show.

“They wanted to do a concert in this general area. We agreed and volunteered to do that,” Laster said. “I thought it would be an honor to have the U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters here at our school. This is kind of a once-in-a-lifetime thing. You don’t just get to see the Navy band every day.”

Grimm said local venues are a key part of being able to provide these concerts for the public. “We appreciate the dedication of local sponsors, for providing a venue and all the work they do to make sure that we put on a successful performance,” Grimm said.

The U.S. Navy Band has been touring the country for decades – since 1925. “For many years, Navy bands have been where it matters, when it matters, just like the rest of our Navy,” said Capt. Kenneth Collins, U.S. Navy Band commanding officer. Today, we have sailors performing around the world, improving relations with our allies abroad as well as telling the Navy story here at home.”

The Sea Chanters will wrap up their week in Russellville after performing three straight days in Texas and performing in Baton Rouge, La., and Meridian, Miss., en route to Alabama. Laster said THS has invited neighboring counties and schools to come and enjoy the show along with the Franklin County community.

“We would like to get as many people out as we possibly can and have a good showing,” Laster said. “I think there will be plenty of room, but people might want to get there early to get a good seat. We hope we pack it out and have 1,000 people there” – 1,000 being the gym capacity at Tharptown.

“We’ve had good response to it so far,” Laster added. “We’re just blessed to have them in our school and community.”

The Sea Chanters’ next stop will be Nashville, Tenn., as the tour covers more than 3,000 miles across the Southeast.

“The concerts are meant to be for everyone, and we strive to be entertaining to veterans, families, individuals and those interested in joining the Navy,” explains the concert announcement.

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