PUNTA GORDA — The Charlotte County Concert Band, under the direction of Bob Miller, returned to the stage Nov. 5 with a concert that honored military veterans as well as the many heroes who served on the front lines during the recent pandemic.

Titled “America Strong,” the band presented its first concert of the 2021–22 season in the Charlotte Performing Arts Center.

Opening the program with “American Flourish” by Robert Smith, the audience was treated to the tunes – “Yankee Doodle,” “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” and “Shenandoah.”

A feature selection on the program was ”Battle Cry For Freedom” arranged by Noah Taylor about the Civil War.

A proud moment occurred when the audience listened to “Duty, Honor, Country” which highlighted a speech given by Gen. Douglas MacArthur to the cadets at their West Point graduation in 1962.

Traditionally this concert honors the men and women of U.S. armed forces for their contribution.

But this year the Charlotte County Concert Band sought to take it one step further and recognize the sacrifices made by the many brave Americans who went to work each day during the pandemic and put their lives in danger to perform jobs necessary for the well being of our community. The band played tribute to these people with the moving piece “Blessed Are They.”

A lighter moment occurred when the band performed selections from “South Pacific.” Soprano, Doreen Curp, joined the band to perform many of the popular tunes from this musical. She also performed the very emotional “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

The next concert for the Charlotte County Concert Band is Dec. 3 with “Happy Holiday.”

The band will kick off the holiday season with some classic and new arrangements to spark the holiday spirit.

The Charlotte Performing Arts Center is on the campus of Charlotte High School at 701 Carmalita Street, Punta Gorda. Tickets are available online at www.charlottecountyconcert band.com or at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center the night of the concert.

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