Veteran Concert: The Sound of Patriotism

Story and photos by Nora Carichner

The Veterans Tribute Concert performed by The Saline New Horizons Band with special guest choral group, The Saline Swarm of Voices, united generations in song and patriotism on November 8th at The Ellen A. Ewing Performing Arts Center.  Veterans stood and were recognized for their service with audience applause during the opening selection, “Armed Forces – The Pride of America” which featured the songs of the Army, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force.  “The Pledge of Allegiance” and “The Star Spangled Banner” followed.  
The Washtenaw County Veteran Honor Guard performed the Presentation of the Colors.
 Master of Ceremonies, The Honorable Donald Shelton gave a special salute to Korean War Veterans. He spoke movingly on the status of The Korean War as the Forgotten War, though nearly 2 million Americans served in theater and some 37,000 American died. 2015 marks the 62nd  year anniversary of the signing of the armistice agreement.
The Saline New Horizons Band directed by Robert L. Albritton Jr. featured popular songs of the Korean War era such the “Gillette Look Sharp March.” An arrangement of rock and roll songs included “Jailhouse Rock,” “Surfin’ USA” and “Rock Around the Clock.” The 65 plus member band was founded in 2004 by Dr. Joseph Labuta and is open to adult musicians of every level of experience.  It is affiliated with nearly 160 New Horizons bands, nationally and internationally.
 During an informance, Robert Cindric, the Director of the The Saline Swarm of Voices, demonstrated how elementary school children become choral singers. The children combined their voices to layer 4 songs “Blue Moon,” “This Train is Bound for Glory,” “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” and “When The Saints Go Marching In.” He also addressed the relevance of lifelong choir participation. The Saline Swarm of Voices is an all volunteer, 100 member children’s choir which practices two mornings a week before school. The choir performs at local assisted living centers and at school concerts.
 The Veterans Tribute Concert, a resounding success, ended with John Philip Sousa’s, “Stars and Stripes Forever!”
 For more information and future concerts see The Saline New Horizons Band website The Saline Swarm of Voices will perform January 20th at 7:00pm in the Saline Middle School Auditorium.

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