Feb 10, 2014 6:32 PM by Alex Labat
The United States Navy Concert Band will take the stage in Lafayette Tuesday night, and for one clarinet player, it's a homecoming. The concert band is one of six that make up the U.S. Navy Band. The band's main responsibility is to tour the country to entertain veterans, families, and hopefully future band members.
But before that performance, Chief Musician Tia Perdomo Turner stopped by her old high school to talk to students about the Navy Band, and her "mission" to play music. "Our full time mission is to play. And we are expected to do that at a very high level", says Turner. She graduated from Lafayette High School back in 1990, and joined the Army Field Band after college. After years of playing, she decided to stop. That is, until September 11th, 2001. "I could see that Jefferson Memorial and I could see the smoke in the sky. And I remember standing outside of my car on the side of the road, frantically dialing. It was a God moment that I knew that I needed to serve the military again. And it wasn't a matter of revenge, it was just something that I felt like God put on this Earth to play my instrument and to serve my country".
Since them, she's been performing with the Navy Band, touring the country. "Military bands in D.C. do really find this to be a very good and steady way to make a living. And really an honor to put on the uniform everyday and know that we're contributing to fighting some of these horrible things that we have to go through in this country". And while the pay is good, Turner says there's no greater reward than paying respects to those who've paid the ultimate price. "It's very trying at times to show that support for those people that are killed on active duty. It's one of the hardest things that we do. Luckily we don't do it often", says Turner.
If you'd like to attend a concert, a list of stops for the national tour can be found here.