Army, community bands join forces for Blairsville concert |

Army, community bands join forces for Blairsville concert

Jeff Himler
U.S. Army 28th Infantry Division Band
The U.S. Army 28th Infantry Division Band is based in Torrance, Derry Township.

The U.S. Army 28th Infantry Division Band based in Torrance will share the bill with the Blairsville Community Concert Band for a joint concert Thursday in Blairsville.

The bands will perform separately and in combination, beginning at 7 p.m. in the Veterans Memorial Park amphitheater at West Market and Water streets.

The program will include music from popular movies, patriotic selections and a medley of themes associated with each military service branch.

Organized prior to World War II, the 28th Infantry band has been active for more than 60 years. The band has performed throughout the nation and has appeared overseas.

It has traveled to France, performing in 1988 at World War I memorial services in Chateau-Thierry and in 1990, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander in World War II.

In September 1994, the band took part in ceremonies in Luxembourg, to help mark the 50th anniversary of that country’s liberation from German occupation. A ceremony was held in the location where the band in 1944 laid down its instruments and fought side by side with other soldiers of the division during the Battle of the Bulge.

After the battle, there were only 13 of 60 men left to reorganize the unit.

The Blairsville band formed in October 2000, growing from a concert at Blairsville High School where family and friends played alongside the school’s students. Its members include both amateur and professional musicians, ranging in age from teens to octogenarians.

It annually presents a Veterans Day concert at Blairsville High School and regularly takes part in the summer concert series at Ligonier’s Diamond Park. The band fields a brass choir that performs for Blairsville’s annual holiday Light Up Night and at area retirement communities.

More concert dates set

The 28th Infantry band will appear in concert at 7 p.m. Friday in Hempfield Park, 220 Forbes Trail Road, Greensburg.

The Blairsville band is set to perform at 6:30 p.m. July 12 at the Derry Area School District amphitheater, off Route 982 just south of New Derry.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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