University News

Veterans Day Concert at WIU November 11

November 3, 2011

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University's Wind Ensemble and the Air National Guard Band of the Midwest (182nd Airlift Wing, Peoria, IL) will perform a Veterans Day Concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11 in the College of Fine Arts and Communication (COFAC) Recital Hall.

Donations will be accepted at the door for the Great Rivers Honor Flight based in Quincy (IL), a regional hub of the Honor Flight Network ( A nonprofit organization, the Honor Flight organization escorts World War II and terminally ill veterans to Washington D.C. to see the WWII Memorial that was completed in May 2004. The one-day excursion is free for the veterans, the youngest of whom are now in their 80s. More than 1,000 of these veterans die each day.

A board member from the WGEM chapter of the Honor Flight will give a pre-concert presentation about the Great River Honor Flight, which has sent more than 300 veterans to Washington, D.C.

The Wind Ensemble, an elite group of student musicians in Western's School of Music under the guidance of Director of Bands Mike Fansler, will perform "American Salute" by Morton Gould and "Hero's Lost and Fallen: A Vietnam Memorial" by David Gillingham.

The repertoire for the Air National Guard Band of the Midwest will include popular and patriotic selections from the concert band, jazz band and featured vocalist Doug Mattsey, who is also the band director at Macomb Junior High School.

The concert will conclude with both ensembles combining to perform "A Lincoln Portrait" by Aaron Copland, which will be narrated by Theatre Professor Bill Kincaid; "America the Beautiful" by Samuel Ward, conducted by WIU Associate Director of Bands Matt Thomas; an "Armed Services Medley;" and the famous "Stars and Stripes Forever" by John Philip Sousa.

"I am very patriotic and the type to say ‘thank you' to a perfect stranger for serving our country. My mom taught me that music is a gift given to me, and I should use it as a means to reach others whenever I can," Fansler said. "This concert is the best way I can think of the say thank you to our vets."

For more information about the concert, contact the COFAC Recital Hall office at (309) 298-1843. For more information about the Honor Flight, visit

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations