You’ve toured the “Yard,” the campus of the United States Naval Academy, and you want to see and do more. Both the professional Navy staff and the Academy’s student body, called the Brigade of Midshipmen, offer many events and experiences that are open to the public. There’s a lot going on at the Naval Academy, both on and off the Yard.
We Love a Parade
Imagine the 4,500-member Brigade assembled in uniform in front of Bancroft Hall, the world’s largest dormitory. The noon meal formation is a popular attraction on the Yard, held daily for public viewing in seasonal weather. The entire Brigade lines up by company, each battalion is called out as present and accounted for, and a drum cadence beats as the midshipmen march in precision to lunch.
Military parades occur often on the Yard, with the entire Brigade of Midshipmen marching from Bancroft Hall to Worden field, accompanied by the Naval Academy Band or Drum & Bugle Corps. On the parade field, the Brigade performs the manual of arms, renders honors to senior officers and civilian dignitaries, and passes in review before the officials. The parades are open to the public and free of charge.
Music to Our Ears
Musical and theatrical performances at the Academy showcase the Brigade’s super-talented men and women in a wide range of public performances. Check out the midshipmen’s performing groups, including the Men's and Women's Glee Clubs, Gospel and Chapel Choirs, Drum and Bugle Corps, Pipes & Drums, Orchestra, Trident Brass, and many other talented student ensembles.
There is also the Naval Academy Band, “The Navy’s Oldest and Finest,” comprised of professionally trained, active duty Navy musicians. The band offers world-class ensembles in every musical style from classical to contemporary. The Electric Brigade, Crabtowne Stompers, Marching Band, Brass Sextet, Next Wave Jazz Ensemble, Riptide Jazz, and Superintendent's Combo are just a few of the Band’s many ensembles. These musicians perform for the midshipmen’s dress parades, athletic events, pep rallies, and more. Out in the greater community, the band members perform at concerts, ceremonies, civic events, and instructional student clinics.
Speaking of entertainment, you won’t want to miss the midshipmen’s signature musical events. The popular annual Halloween concert and light show in the Chapel is an incredible phenomenon. In December, the USNA Glee Club joins the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and Metropolitan Opera Company to present an elegant Handle’s Messiah concert. A highlight of each year is the Glee Club’s Winter Musical, a costumed and choreographed Broadway-style production. And year-round, the Distinguished Artists Series brings to the Academy the world's finest international cultural performers in opera, ballet, orchestra, and ensembles. The public is welcome to purchase tickets to all of these musical events.
Nurturing the Spirit
The iconic Naval Academy Chapel and its landmark dome are symbolic of the moral, spiritual, and ethical development of naval officers. Across campus is the newer Jewish Chapel & Levy Center. The Academy’s religious ministry is led by active duty Navy chaplains in various faith communities.
Visitors may attend weekend services and visit the Chapels on most weekdays. The Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center’s organized tours include visiting the Levy Center, seeing the gorgeous Naval Academy Chapel interior, and visiting the John Paul Jones crypt, burial place of the Revolutionary War hero whose words, "I have not yet begun to fight," inspired generations of naval officers.
The Sporting Life
You will never run out of sporting events to watch at the Naval Academy. The pageantry and excitement of a Navy home football game is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, right down to the march-on of the Brigade, the acres of pregame tailgate gatherings, and if you’re lucky, a flyover by the Blue Angels.
Varsity football and lacrosse games are played at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Rowe Boulevard, and baseball, soccer, track, volleyball, wrestling, rowing, and other sports competitions take place on the Yard. Tennis, hockey, and golf can be found across the Severn River at the Brigade Sports Complex.
For community youth, the Academy offers lots of spring and summer youth sports camps. Athletic schedules and tickets are available through the nonprofit Naval Academy Athletic Association.
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