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‘Music Under the Stars’ 85th season goes out with a ‘bang’

By Airman 1st Class Kaylee Dubois | 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs | Sept. 5, 2017


More than 700 people attended the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Band’s 85th season finale performance of the “Music Under the Stars” summer concert series at Fort Eustis’ Magnolia Park, Aug. 31, 2017.


This was the last of 14 free public concerts held over the summer. The concert featured the U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps and TRADOC Salute Battery as part of the finale’s theme, “Overture 1812.”


The band performed a wide variety of tunes, ranging from military band staples like “Armed Forces Salute,” and Ryan Nowlin’s “Let Freedom Ring,” to pop and jazz, such as Benny Goodman’s “King of Swing.”


This season, the concerts offered a mixture of events with the musical performances, including a classic car and family fun night. 


According to U.S. Army Maj. Randy Bartel, TRADOC Band commander and conductor, each year the band looks to appeal to everyone, from young fans to old.


“Since it is our 85th year, I must say a special thank you to our patrons,” said Bartel. “Thanks to our community, we have been able to welcome, counting tonight’s audience, over 4,000 people this summer. Joint Base Langley-Eustis, TRADOC and the U.S. Army is humbled and proud that we can offer this event.”


Bartel said his, and many of the musicians’, favorite memory from the summer season is supporting the veterans who show up every week for their performances.


For fans like retired U.S. Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Claude Patenotte, the concert series is a Thursday evening tradition. He has attended the show for more than 25 years, and plans to keep attending each summer.


“Every year seems to be a different experience,” said Patenotte. “If you haven’t had the chance to come, it’ll be well worth your while.”


For both the musicians and guests, everyone seems to enjoy one part of the finale the most.


“It has to be the guns,” said Bartel. “I’m a fan like anyone else. I think it’ll always be something the American public looks forward to.”

After an incredible season, Bartel and his team hope to keep the rich tradition of “Music Under the Stars” alive for the Fort Eustis community.


To learn more about the concert series, or to sign up for the TRADOC Band’s newsletter and concert announcements, visit www.tradocband.com.

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