U.S. Navy Band brings bluegrass to Clifton

First slide
First slide
First slide
First slide
First slide
Previous Next

They regularly play toe-tapping tunes for the president, vice president and secretary of the Navy, but Feb. 1 the U.S. Navy Band Country Current brought its country-bluegrass lineup to students at St. Andrew the Apostle School in Clifton. The mini concert was held in the parish hall and kicked off Catholic Schools Week.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for the kids to see professional musicians up close," said St. Andrew Principal Mary Baldwin. "They also learn that you can go into the service and make a career out of being a musician." Baldwin said for about the past five years the school has invited one of the Navy Band's six performing units to play.

Country Current, formed in 1973, started off the afternoon concert by leading the student body in the Pledge of Allegiance. The seven-member group then delighted its young audience with silly songs like "Grandpa's Farm" and "The Beverly Hillbillies." Volunteers were selected to recite different animal sounds during "Grandpa's Farm," and the hall erupted in laughter following "oinks" and "baas." The band finished with several numbers by popular country musicians, such as Keith Urban.

Between songs, lead singer Kenny Horton explained the origin and function of the instruments, including the banjo, acoustic guitar, mandolin and drums.

Country Current entertains students at six to eight elementary schools a year, said Horton. "We really enjoy playing for the kids," he said.

St. Andrew students, back in school after 11 days out due to January snowstorms, were bubbling over with praise for the concert.

Second-grader Abigail Crum said it made her want to be part of a band so she could travel to different places.

Classmate Carolyn Plaxin agreed. "It makes me want to be a musician because music inspires people," she said. "I loved it a lot."

Find out more

To learn more about the U.S. Navy Band Country Current, go to Navy Band.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016