Hall High School gave a salute indoors and outdoors this weekend to veterans for Veterans Day.
Just before Veterans Day, Hall High School students volunteered to decorate around a plaque that honors veterans as well as 24 trees that line the lane behind the school. The trees were planted in memory of former Hall students who gave their lives in World War II, Spring Valleyeconomic development director Debb Ladgenski said Saturday night in at the beginning of a Veterans Day weekend concert by the U.S. Army Field Band in Red Devil Gymnasium.
Among those who decorated the trees and the memorial outside the school, according to Barb Fulara, were Stephanie Stocking, Josie Wales, Jackie Petzel, Kristen Turpen and Natalie Stocking.
The Jazz Ambassadors of the Army Field Band entertained a crowd ranging in age from energetic toddlers dancing in the bleachers to World War II veterans, students and families who were tapping their toes to the Big Band sound and jazz as well as arrangements of pieces as new as the 1980s.
The band director, Chief Warrant Officer William S. McCulloch, said the Jazz Ambassadors are nearing the end of a 5,000-mile tour and are in the 10th state in an 11-state journey. A video at www.newstrib.com (to be posted Monday) will offer a small sampling of the music of the band, and McCulloch encouraged members of the audience to learn more about what the band does and how the musicians spend their time between shows at www.facebook.com/Jazz Ambassadors, www.armyfieldband.com and www.twitter.com/JazzAmbassadors.
The touring band formed at the end of World War II, and one of its duties is to contribute to education. For example, the band shares its arrangements, etc., with school music directors and students. Its sheet music is available for free download.
From time to time high school musicians are invited to play. Near the end of Saturday’s show and before an Armed Forces salute and “God Bless America,” St. Bede juniors Kate Pisarczyk (tenor sax) and Matt Silfies (trumpet) sat in with the band for “April in Paris.” They fit in fine, though it was basically an impromptu performance. Pisazrczyk said they didn’t practice with the band and were sent the music a week earlier.