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By Staff Sgt. Phil Stehly

Photos by Staff Sgt. Chrissy Rivers

The West Point Band providing ceremonial music in New York City.

The West Point Band providing ceremonial music in New York City.

Florida: home of Disney World, delicious oranges, early bird specials, and in one week, the West Point Band.

That’s right. From November 14-17, the West Point Band will be performing in Sarasota, Florida. You gotta love Florida. My wife and I talk about becoming snowbirds down there many, many years from now. Every time I go to the Sunshine State, I am blown away. I’m not sure if it’s the driver-friendly roads or beautiful weather, but Florida and I get along famously.

But enough about me. Back to the West Point Band’s trip.

There’s a lot on the docket, including a National Cemetery dedication and performance at Patriot Plaza in Sarasota. The event will feature a variety of hosts and speeches, including best-selling author Wes Moore. Another highlight will be nationally renowned Abraham Lincoln portrayer Michael Krebs reading the words of our 16th President. The West Point Band will provide the music befitting the ceremony. It should be a meaningful and memorable performance.

Also on the agenda: educational outreach! Members of the West Point Band will share their expertise with clinics provided at a local high school.

The West Point Band performing a concert at Yale.

The West Point Band performing a concert at Yale.

In addition to the ceremony and clinics, the band will also perform a community concert in Sarasota at Patriot Plaza. (9810 State Road in Sarasota.) The performance will pay tribute to the nation’s veterans as only the West Point Band can do. It will mark the first public performance at Sarasota National Cemetery’s new ceremonial amphitheater. It’ll be a fun program. Selections include Midway March, Songs of the Soldier Overture, In the Mood, and a medley of Andrews Sisters tunes. For more information on the concert, visit the West Point Band Community Concert section of www.onlineregistrationcenter.com/veteranslegacysummit.

The trip will showcase the versatility of the West Point Band—one performance, the musicians sit down and play a concert of world-class classical music. The next day the band will provide ceremonial music in a sharp display of military bearing and tradition. You’ll have to trust me when I say very few musical organizations, if any, are capable of doing so many things so well as the West Point Band. (Perhaps I’m biased, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true!)

Make way for the West Point Band, Florida. We’ll be there soon.