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News arrow Features arrow STAGE UNDER THE STARS LIVES UP TO ITS NAME

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STAGE UNDER THE STARS LIVES UP TO ITS NAME

Sgt 1st Class John Skelton leads the audience in singing the national anthem at beginning of program. ().
Sgt 1st Class John Skelton leads the audience in singing the national anthem at beginning of program. ().

For the first time as long as anyone can remember, the public got a glimpse of what Stage Under The Stars at Azalea Park would look like under the stars.

This happened when the 234th Army Band performed at the park Thursday night as part of the American Music Festival, which normally hosts concerts Sunday afternoon.

The band continued until there was little light on stage for the musicians to see the music, but because of a call for an encore, the band obliged.

A medley of the military branch themes ended the concert. Veterans of each service were asked to stand to be honored. This brought a round of applause and people yelling for an encore.

The band played Stars and Stripes Forever.

It was the concert band that highlighted the performance. However, a rock band and a jazz band also entertained the crowd of some 250 people.

After the rock band performed tunes from Chuck Berry, Chicago, and Huey Lewis and the News, the concert band came on stage.

Following the national anthem, the band opened the concert with Centennial Spirit.

Midnight Fire Alarm included a handcrank siren and musicians shouting to provide the feel of an emergency.

Salutes to famous people and composers also were performed, including A Salute to Bob Hope and a medley of Rogers and Hammerstein songs.

A rare tune where the tuba plays melody while accompanied by the band was performed. Variations on Barnacle Bill the Sailor was performed.

A vocal solo of Somewhere Over the Rainbow was also performed.

A somber piece by Frank Ticheli, An American Elegy, was played. Ticheli, a professor of composition at University of Southern California, wrote the piece to honor the students who were victims of the shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo.

After the concert band played Pastime, a variation on the tune Take Me Out to the Ballpark, the jazz band performed a few pieces.

The jazz band opened with That Old Black Magic and continued with such favorites as M.O.T.

Closing out the jazz portion was Sing Sing Sing, a tune that features a drum solo. Unlike its usual performance, the tune featured two drummers on trap sets.

At one point, one of the drummers began hitting his sticks on anything on the stage that would make a percussive sound. This was followed by the melodic tympani, retuned in mid-performance to change keys.

With darkness approaching, the concert band returned to the stage to close out the concert.

Following the encore, the audience was asked if they would like the band to return. There was a resounding yes.

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