Applause for the Sea Aggie Band     

The Sea Aggie Band of Texas A&M University at Galveston recently performed for an entire ship of grateful military veterans at the Port of Houston’s cruise terminal as part of Princess Cruises’ Cruising for a Cause— a cruise designed to celebrate our nation’s veterans, and support Operation Homefront, a charity organization which provides financial assistance to military families in need. The cruise also supports the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, which continues to honor, educate, and heal Vietnam veterans through Vietnam Wall outreach programs.

A volunteer student organization comprised of Texas A&M Maritime Academy cadets as well as non-Corps of Cadets members, the Sea Aggie Band performed in two groups. The first performed in the terminal, where thousands of cruise guests were checking in. This portion of the band was directed by freshman Marine Biology major, and Texas A&M at Galveston student Nevada Lane Jordan, while the second group performed onboard the vessel under the direction of Galvestonian musician Mr. Richard Roach.

Dr. Jennifer Cernoch, director of Corporate Relations for Operations Homefront said the Sea Aggie Band was asked to perform for the Princess Cruises inaugural launch of 'Cruising for a Cause' because of the ocean environment and the maritime music that is performed by the band. 

“The Sea Aggie Band has a long-standing commitment to service to our country and community and this was a perfect fit for this cruise, which was honoring our veterans of many wars,” Cernoch said.

The band, under the guidance of Texas A&M Maritime Academy Cadet Training Officer Major Wayne Bertrand, the group’s staff advisor, was also joined in concert by Mr. Jim Sterling, a 1971 graduate of the Texas A&M Maritime Academy.  As a TMA student, Sterling led a similar band in 1969.

Cernoch said that many guests on the cruise (many of whom were veterans) commented that they were honored that our younger generation took time out of their busy class schedules to perform.

“This was very special and endearing to them to know that our young college students support veterans and military who sacrificed so much for our freedom,” she said.

Colonel Rick Mallahan, Deputy Superintendent of the Texas A&M Maritime Academy said that the Academy’s Corps of Cadets participants in the Sea Aggie Band were part of a great Aggie tradition.

“I’m extremely proud of our Sea Aggie Band, they keep getting better and better each year,” he said. “We hope to continue a fine Aggie Tradition of having the band represent our university at these charitable events. We are very pleased the maritime community gave us the opportunity to honor our wounded warriors.”

Dr. Donna Lang, vice president for the university’s Academic Operations said she is delighted to have “our” students involved in music.

“It’s a wonderful addition to our maritime related academic programs and extremely fitting for students to use their talents to celebrate our veterans.”

The band members enjoyed their time entertaining veterans and by virtue of performing in a minimum of three Sea Aggie Band concerts this semester, Corps of Cadets members in the band earned the privilege to place a band lyre (a musical symbol) on their uniform.