By Rick Burke
Navy Office of Community Outreach
NEWPORT, R.I. – Charlotte native Leeland Rothrock plays saxophone while serving with Navy Band Northeast.
Prior to joining the Navy in 2009, Rothrock was a public school teacher for three years and taught middle and high school band.
“I had a variety of experiences but most of all, I missed playing music and continuing my development as a player and musician,” Rothrock said.
Rothrock studied music at both Appalachian State University and Winthrop University, graduating with a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music.
Navy Band Northeast is one of 11 official U.S. Navy bands worldwide, providing musical support for military ceremonies, recruiting, morale and retention programs and community relations. This group of 35 professional Navy musicians supports more than 300 engagements annually throughout an 11-state area of responsibility.
Serving in the Navy gives sailors great opportunities to travel and experience different cultures throughout the world. Rothrock’s favorite experience was at his first duty station in Hawaii, from which he got to visit Pacific Island nations, such as Micronesia and Papua New Guinea, as well as Darwin, Australia.
“I had never been out of the U.S. before so it was eye-opening,” he said. “There was so much natural beauty, nice people, and it changed my perspective of my upbringing and the privileges I had growing up.”
On his off-time, Rothrock spends time with his wife, Jennifer, his two children, Kai (4) and Rori (1), and dog, Winston.