On May 29, the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra and the Army Ground Forces Band will join together in the annual Symphonic Salute to the U.S. Armed Forces. This is the fourth annual concert collaboration between the two professional groups. They come together once a year to honor the past and present members of the armed forces and their sacrifices for Memorial Day. They do this by performing classic patriotic music.
“The concert will showcase musicians from both groups performing together on stage,” Julia Atkins, the director of artistic operations and marketing for the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra, explained. “Some of the music you will hear that evening will be John Williams’ “Summon the Heroes” featuring the Herald Trumpets, “God Bless America,” “America the Beautiful” and other well-known, patriotic tunes. There will also be the performance of the Armed Forces Medley — a piece that combines all military service songs. People who are past or present military are asked to stand to be recognized when their service song is played.”
In addition to honoring the military members in our community, this free concert is also a great opportunity to come together to enjoy incredible music and beautiful weather. For the past four years, the event has been met with incredible support. “The community has really enjoyed this concert over the past few years. We feel that the audience has grown each year we hosted this concert -— last year we had close to 3,000 people in the park for this concert. It’s a great time of year to just be outside with family and friends enjoying a concert. It’s great for all ages,” Atkins said. The music is beautiful and inspiring, as is the location. There is no age too young to celebrate a love of one’s nation and for the brave community members who sacrifice to protect it. This personal bond to members of the armed forces is particularly true for the Fayetteville community.
Both the Army Ground Forces Band and the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra are comprised of exceptional musicians. Their skill and professionalism create season after season of amazing concerts. It may seem difficult to merge two different and distinct groups, but these great musicians prove otherwise. “Our rehearsals run rather smoothly, our musicians enjoy playing with the Army musicians and vice versa,” Atkins says. “We usually start planning this concert in the early fall, and we love planning this concert together because we know that it’s a concert that really helps bring the community of Fayetteville together.”
The only foreseeable challenge could be the weather. The free event is an outdoor event at Festival Park. Audience members are invited to bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on during the concert. “Though, if for some reason the weather isn’t great, the concert will not be cancelled. In the event of inclement weather, the concert will be moved indoors to Huff Concert Hall at Methodist University,” Atkins explained. The concert is on May 29 at 7:30 p.m.