The U.S. Navy Band will be making a pit stop in Texoma this week. The U.S. Navy Band Commodores will be performing Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Scott Middle School in Denison.
The performance which is free and open to the public is a part of the U.S. Navy Band’s 17 cities and six states 2017 tour. The tour is part of the Navy’s signature outreach programs and the Scott Middle School performance was one that was requested by area residents.
“Throughout the year we get requests from people in certain cities inviting us to come,” U.S. Navy Band Chief Musician Melissa Bishop said. “We also receive requests from places that we have already been. We like to honor those requests and then we fill in along the route with concerts in over cities to make the tour fall into place.”
The tour begins Tuesday and the band will drive to each of the cities between Denison and Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The tour ends on Nov. 12.
“We divide the country up into five regions,” Bishop said. “We play in one region per half of the year. During this time of the year, we are focusing on the mid-south or southwest region of the nation.”
The Commodores, the Navy’s jazz ensemble, is a big band and has been around for almost 50 years. They have performed at jazz festivals around the nation as well as on television shows.
“The performance is by the Commodores, which is a jazz ensemble, so we will be playing jazz tunes,” Bishop said. “Some will be classics and others will be written by members of the group. We often visit schools like the middle school in Denison. We very often also play at high schools, universities and colleges, concert halls and other venues that are large enough for us to come to.”
The Tuesday performance will be family-friendly and, Bishop said, the band recommends that parents bring children to the show.
“There are two really big reasons that we like to perform before children and like children to see these musicians,” she said. “The first is because it is great for children to see what can become of developing artistic skills. We want them to see the possibilities. We want them to see that they can pursue their artistic skills in not just music, but in art and performance, drawing and other ways.”
The second reason, Bishop said, is because it is important for children to see people in uniform performing.
“We represent the U.S. Navy,” she said. “We want them to see us and associate us with the Navy and all that the Navy has to offer.”
The Commodores will also use this performance as an opportunity to honor veterans.
“We want to honor those who have family members that are deployed or are away right now, those who have had family members return to them and those who have lost family members,” she said.
For children, Bishop said, the band will be meeting with concert attendees after the show.
“We also want to be available for those that may want to join the Navy,” she said. “We are happy to meet with them and provide them with information about the Navy and about joining the Navy.”