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December 23, 2003

Navy Newstand

Ten-time Grammy Award-winning gospel group Take 6 entertained Sailors aboard USS Vandegrift (FFG 48). The group was in Japan for a week of shows at the Blue Note in Tokyo and Vandegrift’s operations officer, Lt. Edmond Aruffo, used his connections to invite the group aboard the ship for a lunchtime acapella concert.

“Through a mutual friend, I was able to make contact with them and ask them if they had some time to come down and sing some tunes for the crew,” said Aruffo. “They just opened up and said they’d love to be here.”

This show marked the first time Take 6 had ever performed aboard a U.S. Navy ship. They sang in the helo hangar in front of a small, but enthusiastic group of about 80 Sailors. Band member Mark Kibble was excited about this opportunity to bring some holiday cheer to the crew members in attendance.

“Coming out here to perform was awesome,” said Kibble. “It was such an honor to be able to do it because these are the people who ‘have our backs.’ We’re so proud of you all. Just to come and share a little bit of joy with you during the Christmas season, and share some of God’s love, was the biggest honor for us. We realize you guys have a tough job to do so, we’re praying for you while you’re out here and we ‘got your back’ too.” The Sailors appreciated the free show and, while not all were gospel fans, by the end of the performance, most had become Take 6 enthusiasts.

When asked about any advice they could offer to youngsters who are interested in pursuing a career in music, Kibble said, “Be free to do it. Don’t be shy. Keep practicing, and remember to keep a song in your heart all the time.”

Posted by acapnews at December 23, 2003 9:40 AM

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