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Home > Spotlight > 9/11 Anniversary

Marching bands to honor 9/11 anniversary

Patriotic tributes meaningful for performers, audiences

By Ken Martinson, Founder

SEPTEMBER 8, 2011 — As our nation prepares to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, high school marching bands will be among those leading the displays of patriotism. From a thematic field show to a mass band concert, these special performances promise to be meaningful for both performer and audience.

The Gibson Co. H.S. Band (Tenn.) hoists a massive screen in front of the band during its emotional show titled, Never Forget. The Gibson County H.S. Marching Band from Dyer, Tenn., is dedicating its entire fall marching season to the victims and survivors of the terror attacks. The band's show titled "Never Forget" includes music such as "New York, New York" and "You'll Never Walk Alone." The show incorporates audio clips and sound effects to take viewers through what band director Jeremy Tate says will be an emotional, yet inspiring, story.

"At one point, the band will play behind a 40-foot wide screen featuring an image of the New York skyline," Tate said. "During the closer, the guard will be dressed entirely in white, and the field will be lined with U.S. flags."

Senior band members were only in second grade at the time of the attacks, yet they were old enough to sense the emotion of the day.

"Our show reminds me of the hardship our country has been through and has overcome," clarinet player Audrey Todd said. "I feel I owe something to the brave people of that day. This is our way of honoring and paying tribute to them."

Bands from the U.S. and Europe will perform a tribute in Times Square on November 10 in conjunction with the NYC Veterans Day Parade. While Gibson County is paying tribute on the field, other bands will pay their respect through a special concert.

Marching bands from 17 states and The Netherlands will perform at "The Band of Pride Tribute," a mass band rally in New York City's Times Square on November 10. The bands will also march in the NYC Veterans Day Parade on November 11. Executive director Melinda Marinoff said the concert will include a variety of patriotic music plus a grand finale tribute to New York.

The mass band will be conducted by Dr. Kenneth Dye, director of bands at the University of Notre Dame. Bands scheduled to participate include Amsterdam H.S. (NY), Bloomington H.S. (IL), Centaurus H.S. (Lafayette, CO), East Limestone H.S. (Athens, AL), Edina H.S. (MN), Harrisonburg H.S. (VA), J.R. Arnold H.S. (Panama City Beach, FL), Lebanon H.S. (TN), Mariposa H.S. (CA), Maury H.S. (Norfolk, VA), Mt. Union H.S. (PA), Mountain Ridge H.S. (Frostburg, MD), Nelson County H.S. (Bardstown, KY), Oregon City H.S. (OR), Parkersburg H.S. (WV), Pickerington North H.S. (OH), Pike County H.S. (Zebulon, GA), Seneca East H.S. (Attica, OH), Westfield H.S. (MA), White Plains H.S. (Anniston, AL) and The Maastricht Community & Show Band (Maastricht, The Netherlands).

Images courtesy of Gibson Co. H.S. Band and The Band of Pride Tribute.

Copyright 2011 All rights reserved. This material may not be published or redistributed without permission.

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