PARKERSBURG - Music ranging from familiar patriotic songs to Broadway to the classics was performed Wednesday night by The United States Army Field Band and Soldiers' Chorus at the Parkersburg High School Field House.
Master Sgt. William Gabbard said the 65-piece concert band and 29-member chorus presented an eclectic program that included some new songs for the two groups. Wednesday's concert was sponsored by The Parkersburg News and Sentinel with the cooperation and support of Parkersburg High School.
Gabbard said the concert was a series of concerts given in West Virginia and Ohio to be followed by a fall tour of the West and upper Midwest.
Parkersburg High School Band member Paige Hughes performs with the United States Army Field Band and Soldiers' Chorus Wednesday at Parkersburg High School's Memorial Fieldhouse. Nine members of the Big Red Band and eight members of the school's A Cappella Choir played a part in the show. (Photo by Jeff Baughan)
Gabbard said the patriotic songs are a staple for the band and chorus and were mixed with music from "Fiddler on the Roof," Mozart and a medley from Stephen Sondheim.
The band and chorus, based in Washington, D.C., is on the road 100 days a year touring across the U.S., Gabbard said.
"We do a five-week tour in the fall and a five-week tour in the spring," he said. "We also go to five to 10 select cities."
Gabbard said the groups are composed of members who are at least staff sergeants and the only commissioned officers are the three conductors.
Those at the show Wednesday said they were pleased by what they saw and heard.
"It's great to see this kind of show come to the valley," said Ben Chambers, of Parkersburg. "I hope we can keep more of this kind of thing coming here."
Chambers said he was impressed by the number of people who came to the performance.
"I've been to shows like this before and this is one of the biggest turnouts I've seen," he said.
Carrie West, of Parkersburg, said she enjoyed the show.
"I've really enjoyed it; it sounded great," she said. "I liked 'Silverado' at the end of the first half."
Dave White, of Parkersburg, said the show was a good thing for the community.
"This was a fantastic show," he said. "I commend the newspaper for sponsoring it."
White said it was hard for him to pick out a favorite part.
"I've been impressed with all of it," he said. "From the looks of the program, it was going to be a great show all the way through."
Barbara Deibel, of Parkersburg, said she has seen a number of similar bands when she lived in Baltimore. "I loved this; it is absolutely fantastic."
Sandy Jones, of Parkersburg, said she brought her neighbor Deibel to the show. Jones said she also found the show to be very entertaining.
"I think it's great," she said. "I love the singers; they are fabulous. This is something we don't see much of around here."
Carl Kirk, of Parkersburg, said the show was a good way to spend the evening.
"It's fantastic," he said. "I love it because my grandson was in it when they came here three years ago; he's not in it this year."
Also taking part in the concert were several Parkersburg High School students. Singing with the Soldiers' Chorus were Cassie Brown, Rebecca Cooper, Elliott Clark, Britton Dudley, Emily Cramer, Katie Quillen, John Bolton and Conner Nesselroad. Performing with the concert band were Paige Hughes, piccolo; Codey Siers, tuba; Darcy McDougle, horn; Bobby Wolfe, trombone; Jason Dehaven, trumpet; Hyland Markle, percussion; Tyler Cunningham, percussion; Emily Tingler, percussion; Gabby Frontera, clarinet; and Donovan Kelly, baritone.