Honoring Veterans on your Student Performance Tour

Nov 18, 2014

Travel Notes

As we celebrate Veterans Day, BRT is proud to have two United States veterans – Dan Peichl and Nathan Voges – on our team. We shared their stories last week on the blog, and this week they have shared their ideas for honoring veterans on your next student performance tour:

While some groups choose to focus their trip on honoring veterans by performing at events such as the NYC Veteran’s Day Parade, adding a tribute to veterans is easily accomplished for any student performance tour, and is an excellent way to educate your students on the service and sacrifice of the members of our nation’s armed forces.

Honoring Veterans through Performance

 Veterans always enjoy a concert. A great way to honor those who served is by performing for them at an Armed Forces Retirement Home, VA Hospital, or Memorial Park. Many of the most popular student performance destinations have these facilities nearby. The 30 – 60 minutes of time spent performing at these venues can provide an uplifting break from the day-to-day lives of our veterans. You may want to give your students time to talk to our veterans after they perform, so that they may share their stories.

Honoring Veterans through your Music selections

Your band, orchestra, or choir can honor veterans through the music they play. Consider adding a medley of service songs to your program, and inviting veterans to stand when their respective song is played. Imagine the pride a veteran will feel hearing the same song played that they sang on the battlefield.

Veterans also enjoy marches immensely, so you may consider programming one of these. Sousa is especially popular, but ultimately any march will get a veteran’s toes tapping. Finally, add the Star Spangled Banner to the start of each concert, and play it as though it was the most important piece of music ever written, as it is for many of our veterans. To them it is so much more than our National Anthem; it is a song of hope and survival.

Honoring Veterans throughout the World

Many student-friendly destinations offer opportunities for your group to learn about the history and sacrifice made by members of our Armed Forces. Washington, D.C., is home to memorials from every major U.S. war. It also has many special opportunities, including the option to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

There are many other U.S., and even world destinations, which hold opportunities to remember and honor veterans. Consider Hawaii and Normandy – two sites that are a world apart, and yet offer unique and once-in-a-lifetime glimpses into the United States’ involvement in World War II. Destinations from San Diego to Boston, from Berlin to San Antonio, and many more both far away and close to home, offer excellent opportunities honor veterans.

We hope you will consider adding some of these ideas to your next tour or performance. There are, of course, many other ways that performance groups can honor our veterans, and we invite you to share your own ideas in the comments. To all our veterans, we salute you.

 A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Dan Peichl completed 20 years in the Air Force’s band program before retiring as a Master Sergeant in 2006. Throughout his career, he performed with five bands, stationed on both coasts, the Midwest and in West Germany. Today, Dan is proud to serve BRT clients in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota and Nebraska.

Raised in an Army family, Nathan Voges earned his music degree and taught 5-12 instrumental music before enlisting with the U.S. Army in 1989. After completing his basic and advanced training, Nathan was stationed with the 6th U.S. Army Band at the Presidio of San Francisco, where he stayed until his term of service ended in 1993. Today, Nathan is proud to serve BRT clients in Indiana and Missouri.

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