By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Abraham Loe McNatt, Fleet Week New York Public Affairs
NEW YORK (NNS) -- The "Rhode Island Sound," a division of Navy Band Northeast; Marine Corps Band; and the U.S. Coast Guard Silent Drill Team performed in Times Square as part of Fleet Week New York (FWNY), May 22.
"It's amazing to get to do this for a living," said Navy Musician 3rd Class Gene Register. "We are getting a wonderful response - the public is really encouraging. We are having a great time doing this and we feel very fortunate to be able to do this for a living."
The seven-piece outfit played an eclectic mix of popular American rock tracks ranging from modern tunes like the Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars hit "Uptown Funk," and Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off," to classics like Prince's "Kiss" and "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry. This took some spectators by surprise as some expected a more traditional military band concert.
"They were really talented, totally surprised us," said Deirdre Jahn from Long Island. "We were expecting to hear a remix of 'God Bless America,' so we had way more fun than what we expected."
The set ended with the crowd singing along to "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey before the band took to the crowd to interact and pose for photos.
Before the concert the U.S. Coast Guard Silent Drill Team warmed up the audience by performing a rifle drill routine.
"It's incredible to have an opportunity like this - come to the Big Apple to perform for thousands of people and put them at awe," said Coast Guard Seaman William Stufflebeam, a member of the drill team. "The precision and the amount of time we put in to drilling to make things like this happen - this is when it pays off."
To finish the show, the U.S. Marine Corps Band provided a traditional military band aspect.
Fleet Week New York, now in its 27th year, is the city's time-honored celebration of the sea services. It is an unparalleled opportunity for the citizens of New York and the surrounding tri-state area to meet Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, as well as witness firsthand the latest capabilities of today's maritime services.