“Yankee Fanfare”, “Songs of Soldiers”, “American Heroes”. “The Star Spangled Banner”, “Lincoln at Gettysburg”, “This is My Country”: These are songs that one thinks of as patriotic, which was fitting for the Providence Academy Veterans’ Day concert Thursday, November 11. This year, Providence was able to hold its heartwarming Veterans’ Day concert for the first time since COVID restrictions.
The concert began with a short introduction from Headmaster Dr. Flanders, thanking veterans not only for their attendance, but also for their service. Each of the songs played have different special meanings on the field, but a true fan favorite is “American Heroes,” the concluding song of the concert. This medley contains a hymn from each branch of the military. As the song played, veterans in the audience were encouraged to stand when they heard their branch’s song, in order to be recognized for their service. Then, in the final portion of “American Heroes,” the band began to play “America the Beautiful” and sang along.
Even though the band rehearsed these songs day after day, it’s hard for students to grasp the effect they have on those who have served our country.
Michael Johnson, Providence dad and former Master Sergeant of the Air Force, said, “The first time I heard the Air Force song outside of serving was at a Providence Academy band concert. The patriotism was part of the reason I chose this school for my family.”
The way music has different effects on people is truly beautiful. Songs can represent so many different things and even people. Johnson has a friend who was in the Air Force band and played “Taps” whenever a soldier passed away. “Music represented a lot and tied people together even in differences,” said Johnson.
Even some Providence alumni who served in our military played in past concerts themselves. Susanna Trombley, a Captain currently stationed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina used to play clarinet for Providence Academy’s band, and her picture hangs on the Wall of Honor located in the Great Room. “I think it’s especially important that students are taught these songs because it’s teaching kids there is a meaning behind this music and it teaches them not to take everything for granted since there was such a big sacrifice for our freedom,” commented Trombley.
The hearts and minds the band touched last Thursday was truly a sight to see, and the concert showed our appreciation, love and respect for veterans.