Doudna honors veterans: EIU Wind Symphony performs a Veteran’s Day tribute concert


Jordan Boyer

Alyssa Jacobucci, a sophomore music performance major, smiles after her performance with the EIU Wind Symphony at Call to Duty: A Veteran’s Day Tribute Thursday night in the Doudna Fine Arts Center.

Mercury Bowen, Entertainment Reporter

Red, white and blue lights shone on the walls of the Dvorak concert hall in honor of the Veteran’s Day Call to Duty concert Thursday evening.

Professor Alicia Neal conducted the EIU Wind Symphony in performing several patriotic pieces, along with guest director James Druffel.

Provost Jay Gatrell narrated the piece “Each Time You Tell Their Story” by Samuel Hazo, and Hayley Fryer, a soprano for the group, sang “America the Beautiful” in another piece.

A climactic moment of the concert took place during the final piece when an American flag, nearly the width of the concert hall, unfurled from the ceiling in time with a crescendo in the music.

One of the pieces the EIU Wind Symphony performed was the “Armed Forces Salute” in which audience members who had served in the armed forces were asked to stand when they heard their branch’s song.

Art Leu, a World War II veteran who served in both the Army and the Marines, said he thought the concert was fantastic.

“It means a lot to remember,” Leu said. “Those things are important. It’s been a lot of years.”

Abigail Emmert, the principal flute player in the concert, said the concert was really impactful.

“There aren’t many other times, besides like Fourth of July, to just celebrate this kind of stuff,” Emmert said. “I like that I can help celebrate what the veterans have done for us. It really means a lot because they fought for our freedom.”

Emmert said her most rewarding moment was when the flag appeared from the ceiling.

“It’s always fun to watch the flag fall down,” Emmert said. “It’s just kind of like a ‘wow’ moment.”

Mark Codo, a sophomore television and video development major, said his favorite part of the concert was the “Armed Forces Salute.”

“Overall the concert itself was very good,” Codo said. “(It was) a great way to honor those who fought and served our country.”

Keaton Shumard, the principal trumpet player in the concert, said he believes the Call to Duty concert is one of the most important of the fall semester.

“It’s very important in a lot of ways where we can use music to bring people together and also honor our veterans,” Shumard said. “It’s very powerful in a lot of ways.”

Shumard said his favorite piece to perform was “American Tribute.”

“(American Tribute) is very brassy,” Shumard said. “I thought that was a lot of fun, because I’m a trumpet player. There are a lot of nice musical moments in that that I liked being a part of.”

Rich Banning said he thought the concert was wonderful.

“It was a really enjoyable program,” Banning said. “I really enjoyed the large flag coming unfurled towards the end of the program. That was really nice.”

Joseph Goldstein, the principal french horn player in the concert said he thought the concert went well and was a great opportunity to honor veterans.

“Like any concert, it’s a celebration of music and of possibilities,” Goldstein said. “Personally it was fairly moving because I’ve had family in the military. It was a great opportunity just to honor them.”

Mercury Bowen can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].