43rd Army Band Veterans Concert

The Nebraska Army National Guard's 43rd Army Band honors and celebrates Veterans with a concert Nov. 4 at Doane University in Crete. The concert included a wide selection of period-specific and patriotic songs, including music from film composer Michael Kamen for the HBO miniseries Band Of Brothers along with a reading from Stephen E. Ambrose's book of the same name. (Nebraska National Guard photos by Spc. Lisa Crawford)

The 43rd Army Band of the Nebraska National Guard will present “A Salute to Heroes: A Veterans Day Concert” on Saturday, Nov. 9, in Grand Island.

Performance time is 7 p.m. in the Grand Island Senior High School auditorium. There is no admission charge and no tickets are required. The concert will include patriotic selections, marches and popular music performed by the 37 member Concert Band.

The 43rd Army Band is under the command of Chief Warrant Officer Brian Anderson and comprises citizen soldiers who bring a wide variety of skills, talents and longevity to the unit. The average years of service of the senior non-commissioned officer staff is in excess of 30 years.

In addition, the members’ various civilian jobs and experiences contribute a great deal to the overall success of the 43rd Army Band. This group meets one weekend a month and 15 days during the summer to rehearse and fulfill military training requirements. The 43rd Army Band consists of the concert band, Rock and Load (a rock/jazz group), the Black Hawk Brass and the Sharpshooter Winds.

The band traces its history back to 1924, when it was created in Crete as the “Band Section, Service Company 110th Medical Regiment.” Throughout its history, the band has had several reorganizations and on March 3, 1948, the band was federally recognized as the 43rd Army Band. The mission of the band is to provide musical entertainment for the morale of soldiers and to support local communities.

As musical ambassadors of the Nebraska National Guard, the 43rd Army Band represents the National Guard at a variety of civilian and official military functions throughout Nebraska performing at parades, concerts and political inaugurations. For annual training, the 43rd Army Band either trains on an active duty base or supports local communities and recruiters by performing concert tours throughout Nebraska. The 43rd Army Band has also had the privilege of performing at Fort Campbell, Ky.; the West Point Military Academy in New York; Fort Sam Houston in Texas; Fort Monroe, Va,; Tompkins Barracks in Germany and Schofield Barracks in Hawaii.

The Colonel George S. Howard Citation of Musical Excellence, which is awarded by the John Philip Sousa Foundation, is an annual international competition for active duty and reserve component bands. Military bands can submit application for this citation every three years. The 43rd Army Band leads all active and reserve component bands by receiving nine consecutive citations spanning 27 years of musical excellence.

Other awards presented to the 43rd Army Band include: the Chief of Staff, Army Supply Excellence Award; the Colonel Don Hatten Award for Supply Excellence; the Army National Guard Bureau Superior Unit Award; the Eisenhower Most Outstanding Company Trophy; and the National Guard Bureau John J. Pershing Trophy.

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