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A Treasured Tradition Returns to Powell Hall This May – Joining Forces On Stage

Updated: Mar 7, 2022

By Eric Dundon

A tradition begun in 2017 returns this May, as the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra teams up with military musicians from throughout the region in the SLSO’s biannual Joining Forces On Stage concert.

Military members present the colors at the 2019 Joining Forces On Stage concert at Powell Hall.

This free community performance, supported by Commerce Bank, is 3:00pm CDT, Sunday, May 22, at the SLSO’s home at historic Powell Hall. Reservations for the free tickets are required by visiting or by calling the Box Office at 314-534-1700.

Wind, brass, and percussion musicians of the SLSO team up with military musicians from the U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America stationed at Scott Air Force Base (Shiloh, Illinois), the 399th Army Band stationed at Fort Leonard Wood (Waynesville, Missouri), and—new this year—the 135th Army Band (Missouri National Guard, Springfield, Missouri). The afternoon of rousing musical performances features patriotic anthems, military medleys, and a poignant musical tribute to those laid at rest in our national cemeteries—a celebration of American music fitting for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. The concert opens with a traditional fife and drum medley and also includes favorites from John Philip Sousa, a nod to the 75th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force, a tribute to Stephen Sondheim, and a celebration of the 90th birthday of composer John Williams (a former U.S. Air Force musician).

Kevin McBeth, Director of the St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON Chorus, shares the podium with military band commanders Major Justin Lewis (U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America), Warrant Officer 1 Brian Dorgan (399th Army Band), and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Keith Moyer (135th Army Band) in this powerful joint performance with musicians in uniform. This is the third Joining Forces concert the SLSO has hosted with military musicians; the first was in 2017, with a second concert in 2019. Collaborations extended in 2020 with smaller ensemble performances at area colleges through SLSO’s College Connections program.

“We are so pleased to continue this deepening partnership between the SLSO and our military band partners,” said Maureen Byrne, the SLSO’s Associate Vice President of Education and Community Partnerships. “Joining Forces is a highlight for many in our SLSO family and it is our honor to again collaborate with the talented musicians who serve in our country’s Armed Forces.”

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Eric Dundon is the SLSO’s Public Relations Manager.


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