JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – Since 1985 educational institutions across the nation have recognized March as Music in our School Month, and to celebrate, the 56th Army Band from I Corps at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington will join Pacific Lutheran University at the Lagerquist Concert Hall for a free showing of the University Wind Ensemble Concert. Sunday, March 12 at 3 p.m. The concert hall has approximately 550 seats, so those wanting to attend are encouraged to arrive early.
According to the National Association for Music Education, Music in our Schools Month, “began in 1973 as a statewide celebration, and has grown to encompass a day, a week, and then in 1985 a whole month.”
The University Wind Ensemble Concert typically costs $8 for general admission, but in appreciation of community, partnership, and music, the event is free and open to the public.
“We play at special events and with other bands and schools all the time, but this will be the first time ever holding a joint concert with PLU,” said Sgt. 1st. Class Patricia Conyers, 56th Army Band operations manager. “Part of our job is connecting people to their military through music.”
Conyers and fellow band members conduct more than 600 performances annually, including military functions on JBLM and musical support to communities throughout the Pacific Northwest. Last year they performed for a number of elementary schools across the state, at several Seattle Mariners home games, and provided a jazz ensemble to play at the Seattle Seahawks Armed Forces Appreciation Day game.
“One of the jobs of military musicians is to connect the people to their government,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4, Russell Houser, the band’s director, after one such event last year. “We have a great musical product and we will inspire.”