UNA Pressroom

Una Bands Present Salute To The U.s. Military

Mar. 09, 2016

Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at media@una.edu, 256.765.4392 or 256.606.2033

By Carole Maynard, UNA Department of Music

FLORENCE, Ala. - The University of North Alabama Wind Ensemble and Studio Jazz Band will present Honor Above All: A Salute to the United States Military, Monday, March 21, 2016, at 7:30 p.m., in Norton Auditorium on the UNA campus. The performance will be a musical dedication to both active and veteran military personnel in recognition of their service.

"We are thrilled and privileged to honor all our active and veteran military personnel with this musical performance," said Dr. Lloyd Jones, director of bands at UNA. "I can think of no group of people who has done more for our country than our military personnel. The few have sacrificed so much for the many. We wish to recognize them through our musical skill and language."

The program for this concert will feature traditional military tunes, modern compositions and jazz and big band favorites.

"In the band world we owe a debt of gratitude to all the fine military bands which have developed such wonderful traditions of outstanding musical standards," said Jones. "These are the foundation upon which the school-band movement was based."

The UNA Wind Ensemble, the premier instrumental ensemble within the UNA Bands, will begin the concert with Richard Saucedo's "Windspirits," a piece written to display technical achievement and virtuosity. The centerpiece of the program, "Honor Above All," is the third movement of a larger work titled "No Finer Calling," by acclaimed composer Julie Giroux. The composition was written in 2007 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the United States Air Force. The piece arrives at its musical destination with a hymn titled "A Military Prayer." This represents the most important thing the military men and women do-defend and protect the United States of America.

Also included on the program is the perennially popular "American Salute" by Morton Gould. The traditional tune "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again" is given many stylistic treatments in this performance of the traditional wind band literature. The Wind Ensemble will honor all the military branches with "Armed Forces Salute," a medley of the songs for each branch of the military. Active and veteran military personnel will be asked to stand and be recognized. Family members of those who have served in the past or are now serving will be asked to stand in honor of those who cannot attend the concert. The National March, John Philips Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever," will cap off the first half of the concert.

The UNA Studio Jazz Band, a traditional jazz band that includes flutes, clarinets, French horns, a tuba and additional percussionists, will be featured in the second half of the concert. The program includes a brand new arrangement "Suite from The Music Man," which features a barbershop quartet-The Treble Makers (Brain Sims of Enterprise, Ethan Franks of Cherokee, Evan Curtis of Vinemont and Daniel Seay of Killen)-from within the band along with vocalist Kayla Flannagan of Athens singing "When Will I Tell You" and "Till There Was You." The musical medley finishes with the most popular melody from the show, "76 Trombones."

"Our cast of musical characters within the UNA Studio Jazz Band has really enjoyed bringing these new arrangements to life," Jones said.

The woodwinds and percussionists will be featured on Neal Hefti's "Flight of the Foo Bird," which he originally wrote for the Count Basie Orchestra in the 1960s. Paige Watkins of Fairview, Logan Murphree of Madison, Zack O'Bryant of Curry, Hailey Blankenship of McCalla and Jabari Temple of Corinth, Mississippi, will also be featured as soloists.

Not to be outdone by their male counterparts, the Studio Jazz Band female trio-The Tri-Tones (Kayla Flannagan, Hannah Jacobs of Double Springs and Victoria Roose of McCalla)-will be featured on the World War II hit "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy." The trio will deliver a rousing version of the Andrew Sisters' hit from the Swing era. Flannagan will also perform Etta James's hit record "At Last," which was produced in Shoals.

The concert will conclude with the avant-garde jazz composer and trumpeter Don Ellis's tour de force "Open Wide."

"Literally ever part of the band gets featured in this catchy tune," said Jones. "While the percussionists are featured throughout, we also have a featured motif for every section of the group. Also, two of our newer members, Ashlee Brooks of Madison and Devin Underwood of Muscle Shoals, will be featured on Fluegelhorn. It is really a powerful composition that allows the entire musical ensemble to show its uniqueness as well as its power of unity."

Tickets for Honor Above All are $10 for adults, $5 for students and free to all military and children age 10 and younger. Tickets are available at una.edu/music, at the Lindsey Theatre Box Office (M-F, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.) and at the door.

For more information, contact the UNA Department of Music at (256)765-5122 or visit una.edu/music.