New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper


Military Band Performs Concert

The Navy Band Northeast performed the first of four free concerts featuring military bands and honoring all members of the military both past and present on Tuesday night at the Darius Miller Shell at Walnut Hill Park.

“We wrote to different military units to see if they were available,” said Sandy Keefe, veterans affair clerk. “We actually got a group of five together as the Air National Guard played on June 29 at the Grand Re-opening of the park.”

Navyman Hector Olvera, who is part of the Navy Band Northeast, said the show band has 40 members and plays up to 500 gigs a year. In New Britain 14 members showed up performing their second concert of the day.

The navy band is from Newport, Rhode Island and frequently performs three shows a day in New York City. It is led by Officer in Charge LT JG Scott Mythen and Officer Leader MU2 David Gonzales.

“Every town we perform in is different,” said Olvera. “People appreciate what we do and we like to give back to the community. There is a lot of navy culture in the Northeast. It is patriotic.”

The band performed a mixture of jazz fusion, Dixieland and patriotic music.

“This was the best band I heard all year at the shell,” said Lorraine Dingman. “I liked the assortment of songs they played.”

When the concert began, the Navy dedicated its first song to Rita Cefaratti who had been waiting over two hours for the band to begin.

“I waited because I wanted to be sure I got a good seat,” said Cefaratti. “They are a great band. We have to be proud of our military. They put on wonderful shows.”

A second concert is scheduled for Thursday, August 25 by the U.S. Air Force Band of Liberty’s Rock Horn Band at the shell at 7 p.m.

The last two concerts will feature the U.S. Army Field Band’s “Volunteers” on Sunday, Oct. 30 at Trinity on Main at 2 p.m. and their “Concert Band and Soldiers’ Chorus” on Friday, Nov. 11 at the New Britain High School Auditorium at 7 p.m.

Tickets for the two shows are free of charge, with limited seating available on a first come first served basis. They are available at the Parks and Recreation Department Office at City Hall Room 302, 27 West Main St., New Britain, CT, 06051, or by mailing in a self addressed stamped envelope. Those who write in for tickets should also indicate how many tickets they would like, with the limit being four, and include a phone number and email address in case there are any questions about their request.

The concert series is sponsored by The New Britain City Journal, the New Britain Municipal Employees Community Services Association and the Jewish War Veterans.