For Tennessee Tech University jazz students, it will be a chance to watch and learn from the U.S. Navy Band Commodores and a glimpse at a possible career.
“A lot of the time, you hear before any concert that ‘These are some of the best musicians in the world,’ but it’s really true this time,” said TTU jazz professor Chris McCormick. “As performing jobs get harder to find, joining a military band is a really good option for our students. It’s a way for the students to play music for a living while serving their country.”
Several TTU music alumni have been accepted to play in military bands. Bryce Edwards, ’01, was selected from a nationwide pool to play principal euphonium with the Navy Concert Band.
The Commodores will play at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, in Wattenbarger Auditorium in TTU’s Bryan Fine Arts Building. The concert is free and open to the public, but tickets are required.
A pre-concert clinic will give TTU music students a chance to watch the 18-member jazz group rehearse and talk to them being a professional musician with the military. The clinic, at 6 p.m., is open to the public, but TTU students get priority seating.
“They get to see the level of musicianship these guys are playing at,” McCormick said. “It’s important for them to know that they’re not competing against other students at TTU; they’re competing against everyone in the country for one of these spots.”
The Navy, as with the rest of the U.S. armed forces, has dozens of bands, ranging from smaller groups attached to specific bases and posts, to the national bands that tour the world. The Commodores are based in the nation’s capitol and are among the elite of the Navy’s performers.
“They perform international jazz festivals. They perform for heads of state. They perform all over the country,” McCormick said. “It’s definitely a potential career path for our students and has been for a number of them.”
Tickets may be picked up at the Bryan Fine Arts Building, room 204, or at the information desk in the Roaden University Center. If campus pick up is not convenient, tickets may be reserved by calling (931) 372-6182. The concert is free, but tickets are required.