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University Musicians, West Point Band to Perform Together This Weekend As Part of Events Around Military Appreciation Day
The spirit of the Orange will unite with the precision of the United States Army’s oldest active-duty band, the West Point Band, for several events this weekend at the University, including a public concert with the University’s Wind Ensemble in Crouse College’s Setnor Auditorium Sunday, Sept. 24.
Established in 1817, the West Point Band is the Army’s oldest continuously operating unit at West Point, tracing its lineage to the field musicians assigned by General George Washington when he established the post in 1778. Since that time, the band has evolved into one of the most capable and versatile professional performing groups in the world. Through its 2,600 annual missions, the West Point Band continues to serve the nation as a piece of America’s living history.
First, on Saturday, Sept. 23, when the Orange takes on Army West Point in the JMA Wireless Dome, the West Point Band and United States Military Academy Cadet Spirit Band will play with the Syracuse University Marching Band as part of the Military Appreciation Day game.
During halftime, legendary Hall of Fame football coach Ben Schwartzwalder, a war hero who earned a Purple Heart, Silver Star and Bronze Star for his actions during World War II, will be inducted into the Syracuse Athletics Ring of Honor. Schwartzwalder led the Orange to the 1959 National Championship and coached some of the greatest players in football history, including Jim Brown, Ernie Davis and Floyd Little. Following the ceremony, the Syracuse University Marching Band and the West Point Band will play the West Point Band’s version of “Armed Forces Medley.”
Next, on Sunday, Sept. 24, the College of Visual and Performing Arts, in collaboration with the West Point Band, will host a series of masterclass sessions for Syracuse University students and local high school musicians to learn firsthand from the members of the West Point Band. Sessions will focus on woodwind and brass instruments.
After the masterclass sessions, the West Point Band will be performing with the University’s Wind Ensemble during a concert in Setnor Auditorium. The performance will also be livestreamed. Please note, the livestream will only be available during the concert from 2 to 3 p.m.
Based in the Setnor School of Music, the Wind Ensemble is the premier concert wind organization at Syracuse University. Bradley Ethington, director of bands at the Setnor School of Music and the director of Wind Ensemble, and Timothy Diem, director of the Marching Band, will co-conduct the Wind Ensemble and will be guest conductors for the West Point Band. Additionally, Lt. Col. Daniel Toven, commander and conductor of the West Point Band, will also guest conduct the Wind Ensemble in a piece.
“The members of the West Point Band are marvelous musicians and consummate professionals,” says Ethington. “We look forward to this outstanding collaboration with our students, which will be long remembered. It is a great honor to have them on our campus to perform with the SU bands.”
During the final piece of the concert, “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” two local musicians, William Boyd, former member of the West Point Band, and William Harris ’65, G’79, a former faculty member in the Setnor School, a former member of the West Point Band and former principal trombone in the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, will join the performance.