Navy Musician – Cory Parker

[Singing the Star-Spangled Banner] I’ve been involved in music since I was in seventh grade, from high school on until my Navy career. My mother was ecstatic when she found out I was going to join the Navy. My name is Cory Parker, Musician First Class, United States Navy. I first knew that the Navy had a band in 2003. My mother saw this availability online through and she saw that there was a music program, and so I went and auditioned for that. We have two different entities of the music program. We have the Navy Music Program, which is for Fleet Musicians. And then we have the United States Navy Band. Big difference between the Fleet Band and a Navy Band D.C. is they’re a presidential support staff unit. So the performances that we do in D.C. are with people with Congress, people with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, CNO, and we also do the retirement ceremonies as well. Getting into Fleet Bands, you have a rock band. Their primary function is going to do music for recruiting tours and they just go from high school to high school to high school putting on a show doing Top 40 music that the kids love. We also have different ensembles like a brass band, a ceremonial unit and a brass quintet unit. First of all, I saw the opening online as it’s also available to all civilians. So it’s a national audition, and the only thing you really need to give them is your resume. You want to fill up your resume with as much stuff as you do as possible. So if you do background vocals or you do any mixing or mastering or producing, that’s something that you want to put on your resume. You can also have the option of sending in an audio CD for them to take a look at. There is a three-part process into auditioning for the Navy Music Program. First, you will do – for an instrumentalist you need to have two prepared songs that you’re really good at. The second part is you’ll do your scales, and the scales that you going to do are going to be major and three forms of minor, which are going to be natural minor, harmonic minor and melodic minor. Moving on from there, you’re going advance to sight-reading, and you’re going to have some pieces of music put in front of you that are going to be in different time signatures and different tempos, and need to be sure you’re reading the correct markings on the paper. The Navy pays 100% full tuition for all my courses. Only thing I pay for are my books. Being in the Navy music program, as far as my musical ability, it’s really helped me achieve a better ear. As a new Sailor coming from Boot Camp, your commitment to the Navy Band will be four years. And at which time, if you chose to reenlist, you can. The opportunities that you can have once you depart the Navy Band, you can go out and work as an agent, or be a promoter, or be a producer, or work for a big band, a philharmonic orchestra or any kind of band that you want to be in. With my master’s in music business, I would like to begin promoting musicians in the civilian community as well as military musicians to promote their craft, promote their art. I’ve had some great, great experiences being in the Navy. I’ve had the opportunity to play at national sporting events, such as professional football and professional basketball games. Any other instrumentalist will have that same opportunity as well. Anyone coming in this program, they’re going to have that. Same advice I would give a high school student or anyone who’s interested in joining the Navy music program is study, study, study. There’s a lot of music theory questions that are going to be involved on your audition. So just study sight-reading and study your scales. I absolutely love being in the Navy band, there is nothing like it doing the performances that we do and going abroad performing for the President, performing for high schools, performing for ceremonies. There’s absolutely nothing like it. I absolutely love my job. And some of these performances that we do in the Navy music program you cannot do as a civilian. Thank you for watching this Navy webcast. If you have any questions, visit us on or visit us on Facebook.

11 thoughts on “Navy Musician – Cory Parker

  1. how do I transfer to MU I m already in the navy i sing and play guitar. I have a year left but I want to be in a Navy band

  2. If I'm enrolled in college taking music classes, should I get my degree first then audition for the navy band? I've been playing the clarinet since 6th grade and am a sophomore in college.

  3. What a complete waste of Navy assets and billets! We sit in places like A-stan and see the bands come out to try and get hazard pay by playing a concert. Or worse that God awful AFN commercial for the Sea Chanters where the literally brag about "doing 20 years in Washington at the same unit". Do you guys realize how much hate and discontent that "tone deaf" statement stirred up among actual deployed sailors doing real work hearing some Glee club poser talking about being posted in the capital of Hawaii their entire career?! 600 MU's in the navy could be replaced by I-Pods!

  4. I wanted to be a vocalist because I been in church all my life singing in the choir and praise dancing but ion have no resume so now I'm between legalman and Master at Arms💁💁😂😂

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