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Community Band to perform free Fourth of July concert

By Heidi Tanner
Special to The PREVIEW

Join the Pagosa Springs Community Band on July 4 at 2 p.m. for a free concert of inspiring patriotic music in celebration of our nation’s birthday.

The concert will be held outdoors on the back lawn of the Springs Resort Hotel. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket and enjoy some moving and spirited holiday music from your local concert band.

The Pagosa Springs Community Band boasts 35-plus members and features a full range of instrumentation.

This year’s concert will feature many fine pieces. The band will play “The Cowboys” composed by American composer, John Williams. This piece was written by Williams in 1972 for the theme song of the John Wayne movie of the same name.  “The Cowboys” embodies the American West and is particularly fitting given Pagosa Springs western heritage and the fact that portions of John Wayne’s films were shot in the Pagosa area.  Additionally, look for other patriotic selections such as “The Star Spangled Banner,” “This is My Country” and several John Philip Sousa marches.

The band will also feature “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” whose origins date back to the Civil War when Union soldiers began putting words to an American campfire spiritual written around 1856 by William Steffe. Soldiers took Steffe’s tune and used it to make light of one of their Scottish comrades named John Brown which led to Steffe’s tune being labeled the John Brown song which grew in popularity amongst the northern troops. The song continued to evolve when Julia Ward Howe wrote the official lyrics set to the tune of “The John Brown Song” that we know today as “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”  The Howe lyrics were first published in the Atlantic Monthly in February of 1862.  Since that time “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” has continued to inspire the spirit of America and the American soldier and is used regularly at important political events such as presidential inaugurations.  The band will also feature a medley of the armed forces theme songs which celebrates the mascot songs from each branch of the military including The Coast Guard. These songs will invite you to sing along and bring joy to us all as we celebrate the Fourth of July.

The Pagosa Springs Community Band would like to thank The Springs Resort Hotel in advance for hosting this event.  Please note a correction to last week’s article regarding beverages. The Springs Resort will not be offering beverages at this concert. Join us for a festive and patriotic band concert on the back lawn of the Springs Resort Hotel at 2 p.m. on the Fourth of July. Band members look forward to playing for you and celebrating the holiday with you.

This story was posted on July 3, 2013.