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Naval School of Music
Command Information Overview
Building 3602 (circa 1964) Tracing its origins to the early 1900s, the Naval School of Music evolved from intermittent attempts to establish a permanent site to train Navy Musicians. In June of 1935, the Navy Naval School of Music opened in Washington, D.C., operating in conjunction with the United States Navy Band until becoming an independent activity in 1942. Students enrolled at the School during this era graduated as complete ensembles--transferring as a unit to serve aboard ships in the U.S. Fleet. Unit Band #22, for example, was deployed to the USS Arizona--ultimately to be counted among the first casualties during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

After more than a decade as a Navy-specific institution, the School received a quota of 15 enlisted Marines and, following negotiations between the Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Naval Personnel, Army students began being enrolled in January of 1951. With the School now providing training for Soldiers, Sailors and Marines, in a facility that was originally designed to be a temporary structure, it was clear the Navy Naval School of Music had outgrown its home and a new facility was sorely needed.

Of the numerous sites evaluated, the Naval School of Music's present home, Building 3602 aboard Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-FT Story in Virginia Beach, Virginia proved best suited for instrumental and academic training. Originally built in 1955 as an 80,000 square foot barracks, Building 3602 was stripped to bare cinderblock and reconstructed with the unique needs of professional military musicians in mind. In April of 2005, building 3602 was renamed McDonald Hall after Captain John D. McDonald, the Naval School of Music's first Commanding Officer.

Bldg. 3602 (Present)Housed within the Naval School of Music are nine rehearsal areas linked by closed-circuit television. They accommodate ensembles of virtually any size. More than are 100 studios are available for individual practice and instrumental instruction. Over 17,000 compositions are kept on file in the music library, and 1,000s of musical recordings, reference materials and publications are also available for student use and training. Additionally, a state of the art repair facility is maintained to service and repair the nearly 3,000 musical instruments presently carried on the Naval School of Music's inventory.
Commanding Officer

Lieutenant Commander Robert J. Wrenn, USN

Commanding Officer, Naval School of Music
Executive Officer

Lieutenant Commander David J. Latour, USN

Executive Officer, Naval School of Music
Command Master Chief

MUCM (IDW) James L. Ramsey

Command Master Chief
Naval School of Music
Commanding Officer

CW04 Benjamin J. Bartholomew

Commanding Officer of the Marine Detachment,
Naval School of Music
Senior Enlisted Advisor

Master Gunnery Sergeant William L. Call, Jr.

Senior Enlisted Advisor,
Naval School of Music
 

Telephone
757-462-7501

FAX
757-462-7294

DSN Prefix
253

Postal address
1420 Gator Blvd.
Virginia Beach, VA.
23459-2617

Electronic mail
General Information:
Public Affairs Office
Website:
Webmaster

Marine Corps Detachment
CO Marine Detachment
462-7504
SNCOIC/Operations Chief
462-7504
Senior Enlisted Advisor
462-7504

Driving Directions

From I-64 north:
Take the US 13 North (Northampton Blvd.) exit. Proceed to Independence Blvd. (NAVPHIBASE) exit and pass through Gate 5 of the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-FT Story. Proceed to the second traffic light and turn left onto Gator Blvd. Proceed for two blocks and turn right into the Naval School of Music parking lot.

From US 58:
Take the exit for I-264(15A) toward Portsmouth/Norfolk/VA Beach. Merge onto I-264 E. Take I-64 WEST RAMP towards RICHMOND. Merge onto I-64 W. Take the US-13/Northhampton Blvd. (exit 282) towards CHESAPEAKE BAY/BRIDGE - TUNNEL. Merge onto US-13 N. Proceed to Independence Blvd (NAVPHIBASE) exit and pass through Gate 5 of the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-FT Story. Proceed to the second traffic light and turn left onto Gator Blvd. Proceed for two blocks and turn right into the Naval School of Music parking lot.

From Norfolk International Airport:
Start out going East on Norview Ave. towards Azalea Garden Rd. Turn RIGHT onto Azalea Garden Rd. (toward Norfolk Botanical Garden) and follow to E Little Creek Rd. Turn RIGHT onto E Little Creek Rd. Proceed and turn RIGHT onto Shore Drive. Follow to NAVPHIBASE Gate 5. Turn left on Gator Blvd and the Naval School of Music will be immediately on your right across from the Bowling Alley.

 

SOM and Marine Corps Detachment
Who can attend the Naval School of Music?

Personnel who qualify for enlistment in the Navy or Marine Corps band fields are assigned to the Naval School of Music upon completion of recruit training, and prior to placement in a Fleet or Field band. Click on the links below for more information on how to enlist for a career as a professional military musician.

U.S. Navy Music Program
U.S. Army Bands Online
Marine Corps Music Program (MPO)


How long does it take to graduate from the school?

The Basic Course of instruction is a little over 21-weeks in length, with provisions for accelerated graduation for those who meet academic and instrumental/vocal requirements. Advanced courses are each 30 weeks in length, with no provisions for accelerated graduation.


What will I learn while at the Naval School of Music?

The Basic Course encompasses the fundamentals of music theory and ear training as well as instrumental performance. For more information on the Basic Music course click here. The advanced courses offer more specialized training in a variety of areas. For more information on these courses click here.


What are the credentials of the instructors?

Naval School of Music instructors are carefully screened and selected from among only the top performers in the Army, Navy and Marine Corps. To ensure they meet the stringent requirements for duty, all prospective trainers must undergo an intense instructor appraisal and be approved by the Commanding Officer prior to assignment. In addition to having completed advanced levels of training at the School, many hold degrees from civilian universities and conservatories.


What points of interest are close to the Naval School of Music?

There are a wide variety of things to do and see while in the Hampton Roads area. You can visit Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce for more information on the many choices in entertainment, dining, and points of interest in the area.

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Notice Regarding External Links:
Areas of this web page link to other Web Information Systems providing security-related information which are operated by other government organizations, commercial firms, educational institutions, and private parties. We have no control over the information on those systems which may be objectionable or which may not otherwise conform to Department of Navy policies. Unless otherwise noted, some of the Sites listed within the pages of this server are provided by organizations outside the Navy Domain. These links are offered as a convenience and for informational purposes only. Their inclusion here does not constitute an endorsement or an approval by the Department of the Navy of any of the products, services, or opinions of the external providers. The Department of the Navy bears no responsibility for the accuracy or the content of external sites. They are included here because they provide information on web site "accessibility" issues and products not readily available elsewhere.

Naval School of Music 75th Anniversary Concert April, 2010
Naval School of Music 75th Anniversary Concert April, 2010

Staff Recital
Staff Recital

Jamey Abersold Clinic, April 2010
Jamey Abersold Clinic, April 2010

Bobby Shew Clinic, March 2009
Bobby Shew Clinic, March 2009

Annual Holiday Concert (2010)

Annual Holiday Concert (2010)

Annual Holiday Concert (2010)
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Notice Regarding External Links:
Areas of this web page link to other Web Information Systems providing security-related information which are operated by other government organizations, commercial firms, educational institutions, and private parties. We have no control over the information on those systems which may be objectionable or which may not otherwise conform to Department of Navy policies. Unless otherwise noted, some of the Sites listed within the pages of this server are provided by organizations outside the Navy Domain. These links are offered as a convenience and for informational purposes only. Their inclusion here does not constitute an endorsement or an approval by the Department of the Navy of any of the products, services, or opinions of the external providers. The Department of the Navy bears no responsibility for the accuracy or the content of external sites. They are included here because they provide information on web site "accessibility" issues and products not readily available elsewhere.