More Than a Musical Salute

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veterans day concertST. JOHNSBURY- The North Congregational Church had most of its seats filled on Veteran's Day night for performances by the St. Johnsbury Band and other musical groups. It was the first time that the community town band played for an audience on this particular holiday.


Opening up with an extended instrumental version of the Star Spangled Banner, the band proceeded to play a few more songs in their first of three different sets. Windrose followed them with a five-song set of their own, mostly covering songs from the World War II era. They featured 3 female singers accompanied by a male guitarist who also chimed in with his deep vocals.

The Pumpkin Hill Singers eventually entered the spotlight with their 16 members singing in an a capella. St. Johnsbury Band's snare drummer, David Hare, displayed an appreciation for playing along side the other groups in saying, "I really like the combination of the different voice singing at different times, it added a really nice mix of tonal qualities, and music." The concert played out for an hour and fifteen minutes, but the main purpose of the event would go beyond just this one night.

Attending the Veteran's Day concert was free of charge, but any donations made went to the St. Johnsbury's History and Heritage Museum. The museum is currently in the midst of what theire calling operation "Plan B", which consists of moving over 4,000 artifacts to a new location based on the requirement for a bigger storage space. Peg Pearl is in charge of Plan B, and started raising funds for the new location last month. She expects the process to take around five months and added, "We're moving right along, having written a grant and shaking the bush so to speak, by asking people to buy into their local history."

The newly designated building in St. Johnsbury is a large carriage barn located at 421 Summer St. Details were not given as to exactly how much it will cost to occupy the space, but Pearl hinted that more fundraising efforts need to be made. "We will have to wait and see, we've had two successful ghost walks at the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, but we will be having more programs in the future."

The idea of the concert benefiting the museum was actually proposed by band members themselves. David Hare has known Pearl for many years and supported her when she was a part of the Fairbanks Museum. "My concern is that if we don't have a place to store these treasures of St. Johnsbury, they're going to be sold and dispersed around the country", he explained.

Being a non-profit organization, the History and Heritage Museum will have to work on other ways to increase donations as an effort to achieve their goal.

Some things are up in the air for the St. Johnsbury Band as well. The group is looking to find a venue to perform a Christmas concert next month. A topic that is likely to be focused on during their upcoming annual band meeting. In the meantime, they can be found rehearsing at the Caledonia Court House, from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. on Mondays, preparing new music for whenever their next performance may be.