Concert to Honor Veterans

Friday, October 20, 2023
7:00 PM

Fine Arts Instructional Center
306 High Street
ECSU, Willimantic, CT

As a special addition to the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra’s 77th season, the New London-based orchestra, led by Music Director & Conductor Toshiyuki Shimada, will give a free public concert in Willimantic on Friday, Oct. 20, 2023, at 7:00pm. Sponsored by ASA Environmental Products, Inc. and Chelsea Groton Bank, the concert will take place in Eastern Connecticut State University’s Fine Arts Instructional Center Concert Hall, 306 High Street, on the ECSU campus.

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Area veterans are encouraged to attend. To honor them, the ECSO will play a medley of the official songs of the six services of the U.S. Armed Forces: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Space Force.

After performing works by Amy Beach, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, and George Gershwin, the ECSO will “shift gears” to play familiar tunes in Dixieland style with the Tom Brown 6, a group led by Principal Trumpet Tom Brown, who recently retired from the U.S. Coast Guard Band. Versatile Connecticut-based pianist Gary Chapman will be the soloist for the Gershwin piece, the famous Rhapsody in Blue, which premiered almost exactly 100 years ago, with Gershwin himself at the keyboard.

The ECSO most recently performed in Willimantic in February of 2020. The free series helps to celebrate the connection between the Willimantic area and the orchestra, which was formed from the 1954 merger of the New London Symphony and the Willimantic Symphony. Another well-received series brings the ECSO to Norwich annually to present a free Palm Sunday concert at the Cathedral of St. Patrick.

We extend our sincere gratitude to ASA Environmental Products, Inc. for sponsoring this concert. We also thank Chelsea Groton Bank for their support of this concert.

The Program

Robert Wendel

Armed Forces Medley


Bal masqué


Rhapsody in Blue


The Bamboula

Various composers

Dixieland selections with the Tom Brown 6 and orchestra

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