We refer to the annual spring concert by the Greater Cleveland Concert Band, but those planning to attend should hurry. Leave the supper dishes for later, slip on your shoes, pat the family dog and load up the family — the entire family — and make a dash for the beautiful, new Fine Arts Building at Bradley Central High School.
Show time is 7 p.m.
The evening of music and reflection is not only open to the public, but it is free. That’s a double-dose of entertainment goodness, especially for those who tire of the humdrum of Tuesday night TV. As we have said often on this Editorial Page, Cleveland is a growing community and its selection of pastimes is no longer relegated to weekends.
For those unfamiliar with the community concert band, it is as its name defines. Founded in April 2006 by versatile music-maker R.G. Wolf, the Greater Cleveland Concert Band is a collection of talented musicians who perform as volunteers and strictly for the love of music. Each has a background in entertainment whether from their high school or college years, or even through other venues.
Some of the musicians are older. Some are younger. The faces of most can be recognized easily because they are area residents whose ties to the community run as deep as their belief in family-friendly entertainment, Cleveland and Bradley County heritage, and making our hometown the best it can be through quality of living, diversity of interest and appreciation for our past and present with a keen eye focused on the future.
Some represent surrounding communities — Chattanooga, Dayton, Etowah and Benton, just to name a few.
A unique trait of the Greater Cleveland Concert Band is its focus on entertainment themes. Tonight’s performance will be in celebration of the ending of the Civil War — yes, “that” Civil War from 147 years ago. The concert is titled, “April 1865 — One Nation Under God.”
It is a strikingly appropriate theme because it carries a message of hope and unity, both spawned by an historic split that divided a proud nation, tore away the hearts of families and saw brother in arms against brother.
The story will be told musically as well as visually. The music will be authentic by originating from the Civil War era or it was written to commemorate the Civil War. Conductor is Don Bindrim.
Selections will include “Ashokan Farewell,” by Unger; “Shenandoah’s Simple Gifts,” by Clark; “Voices from the Battlefield, With Malice Toward None,” by Swearingen; “Three Southern Vignettes,” by Huckey; “An American Spectacular,” arranged by Sharp; “A Lincoln Celebration,” by Johnson; and “On a Childhood Sunday Song,” by Lee University’s Holsinger.
Tonight’s program will open with the presentation of colors by Civil War re-enactors and will be followed by the national anthem, known to most as The Star Spangled Banner which gave birth to a nation and ideals to its people almost a century before the tragic divide between regional principals that led to America fighting within herself.
Surely to inspire while evoking emotion among audience members will be a visual showing of Civil War photographs throughout the concert. Likely it will be reminiscent of the highly acclaimed Ken Burns documentary on the Civil War and the families who paid its ultimate price. Those who enjoyed this TV production will surely appreciate tonight’s entertainment.
Lee University’s Dr. Jim Burns will narrate the presentation. He will share Civil War stories, including those from our own Cleveland and Bradley County from the period of April 1865.
Those who have enjoyed Greater Cleveland Concert Band performances of the past always return for future productions.
We encourage attendance, just as we urge parents to bring along the kids.
It isn’t just music. It is profound message, one all should hear and see.