About 240 visitors listened to patriotic and military songs at The New Horizons Veterans Tribute Concert Sunday afternoon at Saline Middle School.
Led by Conductor Richard Schoenfeldt and Associate Conductor Grant Hoemke, The New Horizons Band performed songs and arrangements such as Proud Heritage, American Flourish, Highlights from the South Pacific, Songs for America, the Battle Cry of Freedom, God Bless America, America the Beautiful and the Marches of the Armed Forces.
The Washtenaw County Veteran Honor Guard took the stage during the Marches of the Armed Forces. When The New Horizons Band began playing the hymns and fight songs of the different branches of the American military services, the member of the color guard dropped the flag at a 40 degree angle and veterans of that service stood and received applause from the audience.
Master of Ceremonies was retired Washtenaw County Judge and former Saline Mayor Donald Shelton, who served in the US Army from 1966-1974 and was on active duty from 1969-1974. Shelton served as an attorney in the Army and served three years in the 3rd Infantry Division and almost two years at the Pentagon.
“During military service you learn that the most important thing is not necessarily any belief about your role in the national goal or purpose but rather it is about your relationship with the members of your unit,” Shelton said. “I still get together almost every year with the group of us who served in the ‘Marne Division.’”
Bringing veterans together is why Shelton continues to participate in the event.
Below are videos and pictures from the event.
“The beauty of this event is that it brings so many veterans together to be thanked by their community for the service they gave so that we can enjoy the freedoms we all have. We can all just say ‘Thank you for your service’ to an individual but this is a way the whole community can take time out of our busy lives to demonstrate our gratitude to all veterans in this tangible event,” Shelton said.
Joe Labuta, the founder of The New Horizons Band, wowed the crowd with a trumpet solo during Embraceable You. David Smith, of the choral group Measure for Measure, gave a powerful performance when he sang Eternal Father, Strong to Save.
The concert took place the day after Veterans Day.