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Photos: Joining Forces on Stage

By Eric Dundon

Wind, brass, and percussion musicians of the SLSO teamed 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) for the free Joining Forces on Stage at Powell concert on Sunday, May 22.

The afternoon of rousing musical performances featured 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 opened with a traditional fife and drum medley, a presentation of the colors from the Scott Air Force Base Honor Guard, and also included 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).

This is the third Joining Forces concert the SLSO has hosted with military musicians-a tradition begun in 2017.

The concert opened with a traditional fife and drum medley with a processional of the military musicians.

Kathy Lawton Brown, a U.S. Air Force veteran and host of Classic 107.3, was the narrator for Gardens of Stone, a piece that memorialized fallen service members and included quotations from President Ronald Reagan.

Kevin McBeth, Director of the SLSO IN UNISON Chorus, was one of four conductor on the program, one for each of the four participating ensembles.

As military musicians filed into the auditorium, they received a rousing ovation.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Keith Moyer leads the combined forces in The Night Waltz by Stephen Sondheim.

This is the third Joining Forces concert. The collaboration began in 2017.

The Scott Air Force Base Honor Guard presented the colors.

The concert concluded with the Armed Services Medley. Audience members stood when their military branch song was performed.


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