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    The Who, What, Where and Why of The Anchors Aweigh Music Tour

    By Bill the Goat on July 14, 2022

    The Who, What, Where and Why of The Anchors Aweigh Music Tour

    At the heart of every march or parade is the pattering of a snare drum or the call of a bugle. The Naval Academy Band has been playing at athletic events, funerals, commissionings, parades and other traditional military ceremonies for nearly 170 years. While music has always been important at the USNA, it evolved to what it is today with the help of one man, Charles A. Zimmerman. Zimmerman is known as the composer of the USNA fight song, “Anchors Aweigh,” but his musical history expands far beyond this song. 

     

    The Anchors Aweigh Music Tour sheds light on the history of “Anchors Aweigh” and explores the fascinating history of Zimmerman and the Naval Academy Band. You’ll then have the opportunity to take in the beautiful Beaux-Arts architecture across the Yard while learning interesting (and never-before heard) musical facts. The Anchors Aweigh Tour is a limited time U.S. Naval Academy Tour in July and August, so reserve your spots now!

     

    Who Gives the Anchors Aweigh Tour?

     

    The Anchors Aweigh Tour starts with a quick, but in-depth presentation from retired

    Master Chief David Hanner.

     

    David Hanner grew up in a military family and was instructed by a former Naval Academy musician in high school. After high school, he auditioned for the Naval Academy Band and joined the fleet until a position in the band opened up in 1990. Throughout his Navy career, USNA Administration would ask him to give tours to special guests and explain the history of the Naval Academy Band. Hanner retired from the Navy in 2012, but his love for the band did not end there. After a second career as a special education teacher, Hanner has stepped back onto the Yard as an Information Specialist for the Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center.

     

    Throughout his time in the Navy, Hanner researched Charles A. Zimmerman and dug through USNA archives and the Library of Congress to learn more about his life and how he contributed to music at the USNA and the Naval Academy Band. When asked why he opted to give presentations and tours on Zimmerman, Hanner said “People don’t know why there is a bandstand named for Zimmerman. Most people call it a gazebo and know it as a place to take wedding pictures or have a snack after church. Zimmerman’s story needs to be told.” As you’ll learn in the presentation, Zimmerman was beloved by the midshipmen and made a difference in their lives. He deserves to be recognized amongst the other heroes which USNA buildings are named after.

     

    Thanks to David Hanner and his research, the Anchors Aweigh Tour was born!

     

    Sights to See on the Tour

     

    As mentioned before, the tour starts with a presentation. This presentation explores the career and accomplishments of Charles A. Zimmerman, as well as the creation and popularity of the famous “Anchors Aweigh” song. 

     

    After the presentation and the Call to Serve concludes, the tour will take you to Dahlgren Hall, Memorial Hall, the Chapel, down to the Crypt of John Paul Jones, and out to the Zimmerman Bandstand. Every stop on the tour will include historical anecdotes about the Naval Academy Band or how music had an impact on the location.

     

    From start to finish, the Anchors Aweigh Tour is 90 minutes and is sure to educate and entertain! You’ll then have the option to attend a free 30-minute performance from the Naval Academy Band.

     

     

     

     

    Anchors Aweigh Tour Schedule 

    Tours are offered this summer only throughout July and August, so be sure to reserve your spot as soon as you can! And don’t forget to catch the Naval Academy Band in their free Summer Concert Series.

     

    • Thursday, July 14 from 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. in the Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center Theater.  Concludes at 12:30 for a free concert in the Zimmermann Bandstand by USNA Band’s Clarinet Quartet.
    • Thursday, July 28 from 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. in the Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center Theater. Concludes at 12:30 for a free concert in the Zimmermann Bandstand by USNA Band’s Superintendent’s Combo.
    • Thursday, August 4 from 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. in the Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center Theater.  Concludes at 12:30 for a free concert in the Zimmermann Bandstand by USNA Band Brass Quintet.
    • Thursday, August 11  from 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. in the Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center Theater.  Concludes at 12:30 for a free concert in the Zimmermann Bandstand by USNA Band’s Wind Trio.

    Remember that when you book a tour at the USNA, you’re supporting the Brigade of Midshipmen, as all proceeds from tours go directly back to them. Book your Anchors Aweigh tour and join us on the Yard!

    Learn More About the Anchors Aweigh Tour

    Bill the Goat
    Written by Bill the Goat | July 14, 2022

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