On Sunday, June 2, 2019, the County Line Community Band (CLCB) will join forces with the 323rd Army Band in a joint performance of a special D-Day Remembrance Concert. It will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the University of the Incarnate Word’s Luella Bennack Music Center Concert Hall.
2019 is the 75th anniversary of the landings on the beaches of Normandy that began the liberation of Europe and the eventual end to WWII. As a special part of this concert, the bands will premier a new musical composition by local composer Charles Booker, titled “Undaunted Courage,” that pays homage to the brave Service members involved. Both bands have previously debuted other works by Mr. Booker.
“75 years have passed since young men sailed across the English channel and stormed the lethal and violent beaches of Normandy. Many would perish on those cold beaches,” said Toby Knight, Director of the CLCB.
“The CLCB and the Army Band on Fort Sam are proud to honor those men who gave the last full measure of devotion to liberate the world from tyranny by musically presenting an epic performance of songs that connects the listener with the moments of those profound times.
“We also salute all of our Service Men and Women for their continued sacrifices to our nation.”
In addition to the Booker piece, other songs scheduled to be performed include “Undaunted Courage,” “Hymn to the Fallen,” “Times Remembered,” “Armed Forces Salute” and “Stars and Stripes Forever.”
This is the first collaboration between the musical groups. The 31-year-old 323rd Army Band, known as “Fort Sam’s Band,” was scheduled for deactivation last year, but was saved at the last minute and is now as active as ever. It is led by Commander and Bandmaster, CW4 Jonathan Ward.
The CLCB originally began as the Village Band of Floresville in the 1980s and is one of the oldest community bands in the San Antonio area. It was founded by a group of local musicians who wanted to provide free, quality musical performances to the community. The band is made up of 35 musicians and their ages range from 16 to 82. Some of the members of the band are retired music teachers, professional musicians, retired military musicians and students.
The D-Day Remembrance Concert is free and open to the public. Reserved seating can be obtained online. The University of the Incarnate Word is located at 4301 Broadway Street.
Feature photo: The 323rd Army Band in 2015 (photo by Sgt. 1st Class Wynn Hoke). Photos of CLCB courtesy of Toby Knight.