RAYMOND - Sunday Afternoon Live has added an additional performance to its 2006-07 concert series. On Feb. 11 at 2 p.m. in the Raymond Theatre, "Sound of Freedom," Navy Band Northwest's newest performing group will take the stage. This group is making a return appearance on Willapa Harbor, having wowed audiences at South Bend's 2006 Labor Day celebration.
This military variety group is a high-energy, patriotic entertainment ensemble of some 30 talented musicians who seek to promote the American spirit while having some fun along the way. "Sound of Freedom" offers a mix of traditional patriotic and classic Americana, and delivers a variety of music that ranges from Dixieland to a cappella vocals, with a bit of drum corps thrown in for good measure.
Navy Band Northwest is one of 14 official Navy bands within the continental United States, Hawaii, Italy and Japan. The band's early history dates back to the Bremerton Navy Yard Band of 1918 and the 13th Naval District Band of 1925.
The band's mission is to provide musical support for official Navy functions and recruiting efforts, and to serve the Pacific Northwest in a public relations capacity. Over the years, its reputation for quality musical performances has grown. The 30 or more rated musicians are frequently called upon to perform in various other units, including the Ceremonial and Parade Band, Big Band, Contemporary Entertainment Ensemble, Brass Quintet and Jazz Combo.
Occasionally, specialized ensembles such as brass or woodwind ensembles are formed for a specific performance. Band members are required to carry out all administrative and support functions within the band in addition to their musical duties.
The band's director is Lt. (JG) Charles B. Roegiers, a native of Vermillion, S.D. He was selected twice during his high school years as principal tubist for South Dakota's All-State Band and as solo tubist for the All-State Orchestra. He was first chair tuba in the University of South Dakota's symphonic band and in 1980, was selected principal tubist for the Mid-America Inter-Collegiate Band. He represented his home state in the All American College Marching Band at the grand opening of Disney World's Epcot Center in 1982.
LtJG Roegiers enlisted in the Navy in 1987 and received his commission in 2001. He has been director of Navy Band Northwest since May 2004.
Many have been ragging Sunday Afternoon Live for some time to book the Navy band for a repeat performance on Willapa Harbor.
The band keeps on the go, spreading the Navy message through music, and Roegiers has recommended commands and civilian organizations to book months in advance. It was a quirk of fate that SAL found them available and grabbed them in a hurry for this extra February concert.
SAL will sponsor Navy Band Northwest on Feb. 11 as a free event, but the public is advised it will be necessary to have a ticket. Because of the band's popularity, a larger than usual crowd is anticipated and tickets will not be available at regular outlets. For complimentary tickets, call 360-875-5831. A few tickets may be available at the door on the day of performance as well. Season ticket holders will not require a ticket.
The Raymond VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) will be treating the band members to a steak dinner following the concert with Rick Foust as coordinator. The dinner will also be open to the public for a charge. To make reservations, contact Foust at 360-208-4714 or call the VFW office at 360-942-3082.