Step away from the colors of fall and indulge in some red, white and blue this Tuesday as the Aiken Concert Band performs a concert titled “A Patriotic Tribute” at 8 p.m. at the USC Aiken Etherredge Center.
The band is under the direction of Col. William Clark, a retired commander and conductor for the United States Army field band, and Ryan Westberry, Aiken High School band director.
“It's basically a patriotic tribute where we're playing traditional patriotic tunes, such as 'My Country Tis,' and a melody of armed forces songs,” Westberry said. “Col. Clark did the programming, and he felt as close as it is to Veteran's Day; it's a good theme.
“We're doing a special arrangement of the 'Star Spangled Banner,' written by John Williams for the 2004 Rose Bowl, and we're opening with John Williams' 'Liberty Fan Fare,' commissioned for the 100th birthday of the Statue of Liberty,” he added.
Tuesday's concert is one of roughly a handful that the Aiken Concert Band puts on throughout the year. Westberry said the common interests of the group's 80-plus musicians that keep the band so strong.
“It consists of people from Aiken; by and large they're not professional musicians, just people who enjoy making music,” Westberry said. “Not only is it fun to get together and play; it's fun to get together and socialize.”
The full ensemble also plays performances at Hopelands Gardens, as well as a Christmas and spring show annually. The band has playing locally for roughly 25 years, Westberry said.
“I would expect to have a great time. There's a lot of fantastic music,” Westberry said of Tuesday's concert. “There's the oldies but goodies, but you'll also have your horizons expanded. The band's playing well right now so it should be a good time.”
Admission is $10 for adults and $7 for students. All proceeds go toward USCA Band scholarships and to defray band expenses. Tickets can be purchased at the Etherredge Center ticket office window or via telephone for later pickup at 641-3305.
Chris Walsh is the arts and entertainment reporter for the Aiken Standard. He graduated from Valdosta State University and hails from Atlanta.