Summit Community Orchestra and Summit Concert Band host join concert honoring veterans | SummitDaily.com

Summit Community Orchestra and Summit Concert Band host join concert honoring veterans

Summit Daily staff report
news@summitdaily.com

In these times of tension and turmoil, the Summit Concert Band and the Summit Community Orchestra (SCO) would like to show respect and say thank you to veterans by presenting a Salute to Veterans concert, Monday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. at the Summit Middle School auditorium, 158 School Road, Frisco.

Although there is not a visible presence in Summit County, there are many who have served the nation in the military who have been drawn to the High Country. The band and orchestra are inviting those veterans to attend this concert, as well as anyone wanting to honor them. The music groups have several veterans, including their conductor Lt. Col. (Ret.) Beth Steele, who performs regularly.

"When I was a child, my parents took me to see a military band that was on tour through my hometown of Ames, Iowa," Steele said in a statement. "I was thoroughly spellbound throughout and especially remember the end of the concert where the band played a medley of the service songs. Sitting close to us, a man in a wheelchair struggled to stand during his song and proudly returned the conductor's salute. Some decades later, I was honored to be the deputy commander of the U.S. Army Field Band, the same band I admired as a child, and I am especially pleased to welcome Sergeant First Class Mario Garcia, tenor vocalist from the Soldiers Chorus of the U.S. Army Field Band, to help us honor our veterans through music."

The concert will feature a wide variety of patriotic and popular music selected especially for our military veterans and families to show appreciation for their service and sacrifice. SFC Garcia will be joining the band and orchestra on several selections, including favorites like "Battle Hymn of the Republic," the inspirational "You Raise Me Up," and "God Bless America," to name a few. There will also be music from military movies and television shows such as the well-known "Ashoken Farewell" from Ken Burns' "The Civil War" series and "Requiem for a Soldier" from the HBO series, "Band of Brothers." No patriotic concert would be complete without "The Stars & Stripes Forever," and the medley of songs, "Armed Forces Salute."

Also upcoming is the High Country Holidays Concert and Goodie Sale presented by Summit Concert Band, Summit Community Orchestra and Summit Choral Society. This concert is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 16, with the Goodie Sale at 5:30 p.m., and concert at 7 p.m. at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge.

THE MUSICIANS

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In 1995 Wendy Moore organized a string section to perform as the pit orchestra for a Backstage Theatre production of "Fiddler on the Roof." The musicians enjoyed performing so much that several of them started getting together to play more often. That core group grew over the years into the SCO. The mission of the SCO is to provide local musicians of all skill levels the opportunity to exercise their musical talents in a community orchestra setting, to support instrumental music programs in the local public schools and to perform for the community's enjoyment. Current members come from a variety of musical backgrounds including active and retired professional musicians, educators and students. All musicians volunteer their time and talents to participate in this community effort.

The Summit Concert Band has been performing in Summit County and surrounding areas since 1982, when they first appeared on the back of a lumber delivery truck in the middle of a snowstorm for the Ullr Fest Parade. Since these humble beginnings, the Band has grown in size and depth, but has retained its lighthearted spirit.

SFC Garcia, a native of Brownsville, Texas, joined The Soldiers Chorus of the United States Army Field Band in 2003. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Kentucky and completed both his Master and Bachelor of Music degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he met his bride, Betsy, also a member of the Soldiers Chorus. As members of the Army Field Band, they have traveled throughout the United States, showcasing the excellence and professionalism of today's Army to the American people.

Lt. Colonel (Ret.) Steele joined the organizations as director after a 25-year conducting career in the U.S. Army that saw her leading groups in both the United States and Europe, including historic performances in Moscow's Red Square, Albania, Croatia and Serbia. While in Europe, Steele was awarded the German government's highest peacetime award, "Bundeswehr Silver Cross of Honor," a first for an American director of music. In addition, Steele also directs the Alpine Orchestra in Chaffee and Lake counties and maintains an active performing schedule, both as a soloist and in bands and orchestras. She and her husband Mike, also a retired Army musician and member of the Band, live in Breckenridge.

MORE INFORMATION

The SCO performs three concerts annually, in November, December and March. New members are welcome and no auditions are required. The SCO rehearses on Tuesday nights from 7-9 p.m. at the Summit Middle School. More information is available at summitorchestra.org.

The Band welcomes members of all abilities and ages, without audition. Rehearsals are held on Thursdays, 7-9 p.m. at Summit High School. Again this year, the Summit Concert Band will host Music at the Summit Adult Band Institute, July 6-9, with the free culminating concert held at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge on Sunday, July 9, 2 p.m. For more information, go to summitconcertband.org

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