This time next week will be Memorial Day.
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. And in honor of that, the Lafayette Concert Band's annual free tribute performance is set for Sunday, 3:30 p.m., at the Ducrest/Gilfry Auditorium at Angelle Hall on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
"We try to do a patriotic theme and play music that will allow folks a little time to kind of reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day," says Gerald Guilbeaux, LCB conductor.
This year, the LCB has a selection of tunes that covers not only Americans who gave their lives protecting the country, but those who lost their lives as a result of incomprehensible actions of fellow citizens - think Columbine.
The band will open the program with Robert Jager's "Espirit de Corps," which features variations of the Marine Corps hymn.
"It's a very vibrant piece written for the Marine band," says Guilbeau.
Next on the program is "An American Elegy" by Frank Ticheli and it is a tribute to non-military individuals who lost their lives at the hands of their fellow students.
"It was commissioned after the massacre at Columbine, the school shooting," Gilbeau says. "It's just a beautiful tune, very subtle, very relaxed. And, again, it gives people an opportunity to kind of reflect on Memorial Day, not just for military people we've lost - the world's changed.
"It's no longer just military state against state," he says. "We have to remember those folks who've sacrificed beyond the military type thing."
Guilbeau says another selection include a medley from the musical South Pacific "in homage to World War II veterans who fought in the South Pacific," says Guilbeau. "That show came out during that time and it's about the war and the resistance and so forth."
Selections include "Dites-Moi," "Some Enchanted Evening," "A Wonderful Guy," "Bali Ha'I" and "There's Nothing Like A Dame."
The show concludes with Taps and a special version of the Star Spangled Banner.
"It's the Lafayette Concert Band's gift to the community," says Guilbeau. "We've always had that concert free. It's part of our season. Of the five (concerts), we've always had it free."
The concert band takes off for the summer and then resumes Oct. 11 with "Fall Festival of Sound."In December of 1999 the Lafayette Concert Band was awarded the Sudler Silver Scroll. This award is administered by the John Philip Sousa Foundation and is North America’s most prestigious award for Community Concert Bands.
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