Thursday, November 21, 2019
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Bands from Hinsdale to Havre honor vets on 5th Ave.

The band and choir from Hinsdale Central High School in Chicago’s west suburbs traveled to New York for Veterans Day to perform in the city’s parade, and while they were there, they attended a performance by the London Philharmonic, toured Ellis Island, and visited the 9/11 Memorial, The Doings reports.

The school brought more than 200 people, including a bus driver who is a US Marine Corps vet. “It’s really a big deal,” the paper quoted band director Matt Kurinsky as saying. “The crowds are very appreciative. It feels like a big performance.”

Near the parade’s starting line, Hinsdale Central’s drum line reportedly engaged percussionists from a marching band from Des Moines, Iowa, in a little back-and-forth duel. “The students got a kick out of that,” Mr Kurinsky told the paper.

In addition to performances and the history lessons, students had the opportunity to work with a Broadway conductor and see a small part of Broadway behind the scenes. They got to witness firsthand some of the not-so-glamorous elements of Broadway, including what it’s like to work as a musician on some of the world’s hottest stages.

At their own school a few weeks ago, the Music Department hosted its annual “Bandamonium,” bringing more than 1300 elementary, middle, and high school band, choir, and orchestra students under one roof for a parade of performances in their own right.

The New York parade Saturday was the 99th in that city to honor veterans. It’s the largest Veterans Day parade in the country and this year featured about 25,000 participants, including Buzz Aldrin and Ellen Pawlikowski.

Mr Aldrin, the parade’s official grand marshal, was the second man to walk on the moon, and Ms Pawlikowski, as a general in the US Air Force, is the highest-ranking woman in that branch of the service. Mr Aldrin served in the Air Force as well, but he is most known for having followed Neil Armstrong onto the lunar surface in 1969 from his Apollo 11 lander.

“We are so proud to be a city where over 200,000 veterans live, veterans who have answered the call of duty and have traveled to the ends of the globe to protect liberty at home and abroad,” NBC News quoted New York Mayor Bill de Blasio as saying. “For the sacred sacrifice of all veterans across this country, the 8.5 million Americans who call New York home will forever remain in the debt of their service.”

Also marching, Havre de Grace High School

The band from Havre de Grace High School in Harford County, Maryland, once again took part in the parade. The band also marched in the 95th Veterans Day parade in 2013.

“We are so excited to be returning to the parade this year,” The Aegis quoted band director Richard Hauf as saying in a statement. He called the band’s prior appearance at the New York parade, “the most important and memorable parade performance we have ever given.”

“I am marching for my grandfather … who was a part of the United States Marine Corps and served in the White House Color Guard,” one senior band student, among many for whom Veterans Day has a very personal meaning, was quoted as saying. “He was very dedicated to his service and loved this country.”

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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