Buchholz bands salute veterans with music at UF Auditorium
Published: Monday, November 11, 2013 at 10:11 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, November 11, 2013 at 10:11 p.m.
The Buchholz High School bands honored U.S. veterans Monday with a wide selection of patriotic pieces.
The Golden Regiment marching band, Wind Symphony, Jazz Band and Aviance Visual Ensemble each took the stage at the UF Auditorium for the program's 10th annual Veterans Day Concert.
"It's important that the citizens of our nation have an appreciation for those that sacrificed their lives for us to have the freedoms that we enjoy today," director Alexander Kaminsky said.
Nearly 800 people attended the concert, many of whom were veterans. While the event was free, volunteers were accepting canned food donations for local charities.
Usually held in the Phillips Center, Monday's concert was the first at the UF Auditorium, as well as the first to fall on Veterans Day itself.
"It's ideal, because almost everyone has the day off," Kaminsky said.
The concert, which was broadcast live on WUFT-FM, 89.1, WJUF-FM, 90.1 and wuft.org, was hosted by WUFT music director Richard Drake. UF Health provided shuttle service to and from parking.
The two-hour concert began at 7:10 p.m. as the Golden Regiment marched through the aisles to play "Battle Hymn Chorale" and the national anthem, while members of the Air Force Junior ROTC presented the colors.
The regiment's performance comes just after the band scored 94.65 — a school record — at the Kingdom of the Sun Marching Band Festival on Saturday.
The Wind Symphony then took the stage with "Esprit de Corps," a piece commissioned by the U.S. Marine Band. The mood took a reflective turn with "Each Time You Tell Their Story," accompanied by a short poetry reading by former Alachua County schools Superintendent Dan Boyd.
"It's about the sacrifice that military men and women give in order to serve the country," Kaminsky said.
Director of bands for UF's School of Music David Waybright guest-conducted a performance of John Philip Sousa's march "The Gallant Seventh," while the Aviance dancers joined the band for "Main Street America," an upbeat piece based around the march "You're a Grand Old Flag."
After a brief intermission, the Jazz Band played a four-piece set that included the improvisation-heavy "Precious Lord, Take My Hand" and an energetic performance of The Andrews Sisters' "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy", again featuring the Aviance dancers.
The Wind Symphony returned to the stage with a performance of Eric Whitacre's "Lux Aurumque" synchronized to a veterans tribute video. During a performance of "Armed Forces Salute," veterans in the audience stood when their respective branch's march was played.
Finally, the Golden Regiment joined the Wind Symphony to play Sousa's "The Stars and Stripes Forever," the national march of the United States.
Dolores Coari said she and her husband have been coming to the Veterans Day performance for four years. Their grandson, Zach VanWert, plays trumpet in the band.
"It's always a great show," she said.
Coari's husband, Thomas, a Korean War veteran, said the show was a fitting tribute to him and others who served.
"I love it," he said. "It's great recognition for what the guys have done."