Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric... Welcome to the Patriotic Quilter where I like to share all things quilty as well as red, white, and blue! Please feel free to look around and enjoy yourself! I would love to hear from you.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Music Under the Stars. With Sprinkles. And gnats. Lots of gnats!

Hi Everyone!

Yesterday was one of those days when I had to run from meeting to meeting to event.  The biggest treat of the day was that I got to see a friend from Hawaii who just moved here with her husband and family!  I really love it when the Army cooperates like that.  The second meeting was with our guild's quilt show committee.  We did a walk-through of the show's location.  The guild hasn't had a show for several years and we changed the location to a middle school.  There will be plenty of space! 

The "event" was the first concert in the "Music Under the Stars" concert series at Fort Eustis.  Fort Eustis is home to the TRADOC band, and they do the performing.  Maybe you are confused, so I will explain TRADOC.  Every unit in the Army falls under one of two major organizations.  If the unit's responsibility is Training--like basic training, or officer training, War College, whatever--then it belongs to the Training and Doctrine Command--TRADOC.  If the unit is a "war fighter" unit, then it belongs to Forces Command--FORSCOM.  Fort Eustis is home to the TRADOC headquarters and the headquarters has an Army band.  

The band has a 82 year history of performing a series of summer concerts called "Music Under the Stars."  We went to one last year--we weren't acclimated to the heat and humidity to go to any others--but I hope to try to go to as many as possible this summer. 
This is the location of the concert.  The pavilion is new--they did the ribbon cutting last night.  Can you see the water to the left of it in the background?  That is the James River.  Back in 1607 the ships carrying the colonists traveled up that river, right by this site on their way to land at Jamestown.
The program consisted of marches, military music, etc.  Not only was the ribbon cut, but another ceremony was held in which the band was awarded the 2013 John Philip Sousa Marching Band of the Year award.  Because it was also the 69th anniversary of D Day, there were a few selections of  World War II music also.  It was a great concert. 
The problem was that the weather was threatening.  Leaden skies were over head and there was a periodic smattering of sprinkles.  Not too many people attended, probably expecting that it was cancelled.  The old gentleman sitting next to me (we made friends right away) told me he called to make sure it was still on.  He thought most people assumed that it was cancelled and that they should have called, too.  I responded by telling him that I was an Army Wife, so I just showed up because I knew they wouldn't have cancelled!  I can handle a few drops.  What was more unpleasant were the droves of gnats that were out.  Do you know how bugs get before a rain?  There wasn't a breath of a breeze, either, to blow them away.  Luckily I had brought bug spray.  I shared it with my neighbors, too--but it didn't help very much. 
The concert concluded with the Stars and Stripes Forever--one of my most favorites.  The piccolo player was the most masterful I have ever heard.  His music was so fluid and smooth and superb!  Did you know there are words to that march?
Hurrah for the flag of the free!
May it wave as our standard forever,
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

So fitting!

Have a great weekend!  We are expecting a visit from Andrea today--the first tropical storm of the year.  I think it's going to be a long season.



  1. Sounds like a wonderful day to me. Stay safe.

  2. I love patriotic music! Sounds like a wonderful time.

  3. Bummer about the gnats.....but the rest sounded fantastic! What a great setting, and I LOVE patriotic music and marches!

    I remember going to a Navy Ball in San Diego (about 25 years ago!), and the Navy Band was playing.....all the hymns for each branch of service. And when it got to the Navy Hymn, out walked this 6'5", 225 lb, line-backer giant of a man in uniform, he whipped out a piccolo, and he played that thing like no one could! It was amazing! Oh.....I just got rush thinking about it! Ha!

  4. Thanks for sharing ... tonight we attended a minor league ballgame in our town (Traverse City Beach Bums). Between one of the innings they asked all the current and former military personnel to stand so they could be applauded for their service. Staff walked around and presented a US flag to each member. The entire audience clapped for a LONG, LONG time ... quite an emotional tribute to our vets who deserve that and much more!! Your concert sounds like it was a really, really nice evening ... glad you went! BTW ... received your envelope today and LOVE the pieces ... I will send you a photo when I get it together ... I ordered that ruler from Ms. Rosie the other day, too, after reading your post about the flag. FUN! Linda

  5. I love outdoor concerts: July is when they are held in my area.

  6. When is your guild quilt show? I live in Williamsburg part of the year, and if around, I'd like to come to your quilt show.

  7. The piccolo player was SPC james Miller who recently won a position in the most elite of the Army's bands, The US Army Band in Washington DC! We are sad to lose him from Tradoc but he has indeed distinguished himself as perhaps the most masterful piccolo player you can hear, especially on that song! Thanks for attending our Concert and thank you even more for writing about it! We're trying to make sure the gnats get whats coming to them.

    SGT Dan Puls