JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. –
From fifers and drummers communicating to their groups of military members, to buglers playing taps for the fallen, to jody callers keeping formations in step, music has always been an integral part of the U.S. military.
The Navy Nuclear Power Training Command choir carries on that tradition by giving the students the opportunity to do something outside of school that gets them involved in the local community.
“The choir is definitely a morale booster for the people in it,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Megan Brown, NNPTC choir director. “We aren’t mission essential, but I think to an extent we complete the part of our mission of taking care of our people and this is definitely a way people take care of others and themselves.”
Brown has been the choir director since 2014 and has seen numerous students come and go. The choir allows enlisted and officer students to interact with one another on a different scale.
“These students are in class for at least 40 hours a week, not including all of the time they take to study,” said Brown. “This is something to help them destress, relax and express that musical, artistic muscle they have.”
The career fields that are trained at NNPTC are electrical technicians, electrician’s mates and machinist’s mates with an average of 2,250 students. The choir has been a part of NNPTC since the early 1990s and is only made up of students.
“It can be a little tough to juggle school and choir because you have to prioritize your academics, but luckily the choir is flexible,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeffery Klink, NNPTC student and choir member. “When I was first joining the Navy I was looking into joining the Navy choir, but I ended up choosing the electrician’s mates career field instead. When I got here I was excited to find out there was a choir and I had to join the first chance I got.”
Any student can join the NNPTC choir regardless of previous experience. The choir performs at graduations, retirements, holiday celebrations and sporting events.
“One of my fondest moments performing was when we sang the National Anthem at a College of Charleston basketball game last November,” said Ensign Jonathan Baumgartner, NNPTC submarine officer student and choir member. “Getting to represent my country and flag and hearing all of those people applauding to let us know we did a great job is one of the biggest honors I could ever receive.”
To request a performance by the choir, call the choir director at 843-794-8055.