The United States Naval Academy Gospel Choir had Upper School students singing, clapping, and dancing in the aisles, with a performance on Friday that raised the roof of the Johnson Theater.
The group describes itself as an “upbeat inspirational musical ensemble,” composed of “midshipmen from various places, races, and creeds.” The group has performed across the nation and around the world. Notable performances include participation in the Inaugural Concert for President Obama, singing “We Are One” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for President Obama in front of a live audience of over half a million; the group has also toured South Korea.
To describe the performance as merely “singing” is an understatement. There was accompaniment from two instrumentalists. But the choir did far more than raise their voices; from the opening number, they danced on the risers and then danced right off of them—finishing the performance with singers arrayed across the front of the stage, leading students and faculty in dance moves. In the finale, a few students even joined the dancers onstage to “step to the right...step to the left...slide, slide, kick kick...turn it all around.”
At the end of the show, as the group presented Headmaster Dennis Manning with a photo, he humorously noted the exuberance in the room: “We have lost control...and we will be having no more instruction or education today.” He then thanked them, not only for their uplifting singing, but also for their service to the nation.
After a short break, Upper School students returned for a presentation from Lieutenant Jason Redman, a former Navy SEAL and author of The Trident: The Forging and Reforging of a Navy SEAL Leader. He is this year’s Middle and Upper School Visiting Author.