Tag Archives: Military Bands

An Unprecedented Tour

Nine days ago, the Concert Band and Soldiers’ Chorus began what was to be a 22-day tour. We could certainly see what was transpiring across the globe – particularly in Europe – with COVID-19, but we hoped it wouldn’t affect our ability to do our mission. Well, instead of being in Indianapolis preparing to head to Chicago, we’re in Wheeling, West Virginia preparing to finish our two-day trek home.

The tour started off really well, with a great crowd at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Pittsburgh seeing our “America, the Beautiful” production – a production I really like…probably because I conduct it. Our next major performance was in Sandusky, OH at the Sandusky State Theatre. Another enthusiastic crowd.

The next performance, this time of “This We’ll Defend” – a production that tells the Army story from WWII to the present – was at Cleveland’s Mimi Ohio Theatre. This was the first performance where we could tell the virus had an effect on our audience numbers. The Mimi is a wonderful, historic hall.

We then made our way to the Indianapolis area in preparation for our concert at the Palladium in Carmel, truly one of the most spectacular venues I have ever performed in. Here’s a pic from the last time we were there:

A couple of hours before the concert, the Governor of Indiana (like many of his colleagues) made the decision to limit public gatherings and cancelled our concert. That would have been our last concert of tour because our Commanding General – in consultation with my boss, the Surgeon General, and his staff – had decided that in the interest of safety for the public and our soldiers, it was time to come home. It’s too bad we weren’t able to do that one last concert at the spectacular Palladium.

Particularly disappointing was that we never got the chance to perform our concert at Chicago’s Symphony Center, which would have been a first for the Field Band.

Now, as we enter a period of uncertainty where public gatherings are discouraged for good reason, what does a unit like the Army Field Band do to not only continue its mission of connecting Americans to its Army but remain useful and relevant?

I’m glad you asked. Stay tuned to our website and social media for details. We have something fun and unprecedented for a military band planned for next week to help fulfill our commitment to those communities that we had to cancel on and all of those that are looking for something to entertain them while they hang out at home.

http://www.armyfieldband.com

@ArmyFieldBand – Facebook

The United States Army Field Band – YouTube

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Sacred Spaces

Tour has officially begun! Yesterday, the Concert Band and Soldiers’ Chorus performed the first concert of Fall Tour at Northern Arizona University, debuting one of our new productions, “Sacred Spaces,” which celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Grand Canyon being designated a national park. Continue reading

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Spring Tour 2019

A couple of weeks ago, the Field Band returned from our Spring tour of the Northeast. It was my first time with the Field Band in that part of the country, but of course not my first time there! I enjoyed our time in New England and upstate New York particularly, since I grew up about 20 minutes south of Boston and earned my Bachelor’s degree in upstate NY. As a result, I enjoyed meeting up with friends and family throughout the tour! Continue reading

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Fall 2018 Tour

So, I noticed recently an uptick in my readership, which I don’t understand because I am awful at this blogging thing. Considering we are now a month out from our Spring tour, I thought it was about time to write about our Fall tour of the West Coast. Continue reading

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We the People…

There’s been a lot of talk recently about the Constitution, its Bill of Rights, and the document’s relevance to our world today. There was even an op-ed in the New York Times recently by a “professor of constitutional law” that argued citizens should “give up on the Constitution.” (I won’t link to the article or state who wrote it because its not worth your time and I don’t want to provide him with any more “hits” than he’s already gotten. If you want to read it, a simple Internet search will find it.) Suffice to say that in my opinion (and this is my personal opinion), his students are wasting their money. Continue reading

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Military Bands: Who Needs Them (redux)

I’m all for efficiency but I’d like to know where the $125M number came from (since some  Soldiers I know – who knows, maybe me – would lose their job come October 1 if this trend continues — oh, wait, no one told you that?).

I’m no genius but does anyone really think this is like building fewer jets or buying fewer wickets to bring down spending?  The bulk of that $325M budget goes to Soldiers’ salaries and equipment; not concerts or trips across this great country performing for Americans so that they can feel connected to the men and women who have sworn to protect their way of life, and for them to feel good about their military and their country, since for probably 90% of the population, the only military member they’ll meet face-to-face is a military musician. Continue reading

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Programming faux pas?

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. Continue reading

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