As the nation celebrates the sacrifices and triumphs of our fighting men and women, the Rhinelander Area Community Band offers a free Veteran’s Day Concert Sunday, Nov. 11.
Not only veterans and their families are invited, but everyone is urged to come and enjoy the music, which begins at 3 pm at the James Williams Junior High School auditorium. The School District of Rhinelander is donating use of the facilities for this community performance.
Band director Jim Pekol has rehearsed the 50-piece volunteer group for the past several weeks in what he calls “Americana.”
“We have popular music for all ages,” he explained, “from a medley of World War II big band numbers, to songs of the ’50s and ’60s, to patriotic, classic marches.”
The National Emblem March will set the tone for the evening, as will Sousa’s U.S. Field Artillery March. “This was written during World War I,” said Pekol. “Lt. Commander John Philip Sousa was serving in the navy at that time, training musicians at Great Lakes, Illinois.”
Moving symphonic works Deep River and America the Beautiful set off jazzy pieces Wonderland by Night, This Guy’s in Love with You and King of the Road.
A medley of Disney movie themes (Under the Sea, Beauty and the Beast, Whole New World, Friend Like Me) will delight the younger set and the light-hearted Sandpaper Ballet features the band’s percussion section playing non-traditional instruments.
The highlight of the afternoon may well be The Homefront, guaranteed to take listeners back to the days of dance halls and evenings around the radio listening to It’s Been a Long, Long Time, Thanks for the Memories, The White Cliffs of Dover and Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree.
In what has become an emotional tradition during the band’s annual Veteran’s Day concert, a medley of service songs invites veterans and members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines to stand as their theme song is played.
For music lovers who enjoy and miss the summer concert on the RiverWalk series, this performance offers one more chance to hear the community band at its best.