So you’re at a military band concert, and it’s coming toward the end – you know this because they just played the “Armed Forces Medley,” and you proudly stood when the Army Song started because your father is a Soldier serving overseas. Now they’re playing “America, the Beautiful” and you can feel your heart swell with pride as images of America play across a large screen; the music ends with a flourish and a rousing final chord as an image of the Statue of Liberty is shown. The crowd erupts and you stand as one Nation. The conductor takes a bow and leaves the stage. The audience calls him back because there’s one piece you haven’t heard yet – one piece you must hear before the concert is complete.
The conductor comes back out. The band settles in their seats. The crowd is buzzing because they know what’s coming. The band begins to play…and it’s not what you were expecting – as a matter of fact, you don’t even recognize the march. It’s fast and impressive — but it’s not the march you were all waiting for.
The band finishes and the crowd cheers (though not quite with the same fervor). “Surely, they’ll play it now,” you think, “won’t they?” The conductor comes back out, takes one final bow, and leaves the stage…and then the house lights come up.
“Huh,” you think, “okay…guess the concert’s over. That’s weird.”
So, assuming it’s a concert in the U.S. (and not in another country where doing a piece from that country to end a concert would be appropriate)…