By Clark Pierce
Established in 1995, Navy Band Southeast is one of 13 official U.S. Navy Bands.
The command consists of 35 versatile musicians dedicated to the highest levels of musical performance.
The ceremonial band or any of its various ensembles provide a wide variety of music for any occasion - including military ceremonies, parades, public concerts, musical outreach to local schools and more.
They also play a crucial role in Navy recruitment.
Lt. Cmdr. Mark Corbliss, director of Navy Band Southeast since 2012, says the level of musical talent within the band is "ridiculously good" despite the challenges of sequestration in 2013.
"We gave up 10 billets last year - as part of 220 musician billets that were closed across the fleet. We were also restricted to playing venues that were no further than 50 miles from NAS Jacksonville. As a result, we've really expanded our outreach to our surrounding counties in Northeast Florida."
He said the Music for Recruiting program has been restored, so Navy bands may perform concerts, patriotic ceremonies and parades for the general public and school concerts in support of Navy recruiting.
"This allows Navy Band Southeast to do more with local school systems and public libraries. When you're planning a program for school populations, their only interest is rock 'n' roll."
"So our popular music ensemble not only entertains, but creates a positive environment for Navy recruiters who may accompany us to a high school," explained Corbliss.
"At other high school appearances, we spend time working with their music programs to teach clinics and master classes, as well as perform joint concerts," he added.
Corbliss is cautiously optimistic about the band's 2014 program.
"It's first come, first served - and the summer months are already being booked. This fall, we'll be performing downtown at the Times Union Center for the Performing Arts. Of course, Memorial Day, 4th of July and Veterans Day are busy times - but we believe it's always better to be performing than practicing."
"The ceremonial band and brass quintet are our bread and butter, representing the bulk of our gigs. A popular new small-group ensemble is theSaxophone Quartet that plays different musical styles - ranging from classic concert fare to popular music and jazz," said Corbliss.
MU1 Dexter Jones said, "So far, audiences have really embraced the 20th century sounds of our saxophone quartet. I've been a Navy musician for 16 years and this quartet is a most rewarding way to present a variety of musical styles - jazz, marches, gospel and contemporary.
Booking Navy Band Southeast
Submit your request early. Although the band cannot confirm support until 90 days prior to military events and 60 days prior to civilian events, they accept requests up to 12 months prior to the event.
You may submit your request by phone (542-8060), e-mail (email@example.com) or online (https://www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnrse/about/navy_bands/navy_band_southeast.html).