By Michael P. Walsh
Special to the Voice
The city’s summer concert series will kick off a week earlier than expected, on Friday night, with a salute to America’s veterans by a trio of school bands, Mayor Edward M. O’Brien announced.
The tribute concert will feature selections played by the West Haven High School, Bailey Middle School and Carrigan Intermediate School bands at 7 p.m. on the Green, followed by Simply Swing, a 10-piece orchestra that includes members of the 102nd Army Band of the Connecticut National Guard, at 7:30 p.m.
Simply Swing’s one-hour “Celebrates America” show will include such patriotic standards as “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “St. Louis Blues,” “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and “The Yankee Doodle Boy.”
“It’s going to be a great night to honor our veterans,” O’Brien said. “At the same time, we can see our student musicians from all across West Haven. We have a very talented group of kids, and it’s a great time to highlight their talents.”
At 6:30 p.m., the school bands will line up in front of 313 Campbell Ave., formerly Christopher John Michael’s Restaurant, before marching a half-mile up to The John C. Ireland Bandstand on the Green for their performance.
The bands will be escorted by members of the West Haven Veterans Council, the governing body of the city’s veterans organizations, which include AMVETS Post 1, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9422 and West Haven Vietnam Veterans.
The bands will also be accompanied by the West Haven Police Color Guard and the West Haven Fire Department Honor Guard, which is composed of members of the City of West Haven Fire Department Allingtown and the First Taxation and West Shore fire districts.
The high school’s Bel Canto and Camerata choirs, under the direction of Phyllis Silver, will also perform, singing the national anthem and “God Bless America.” Simply Swing’s trumpeter will play taps.
The high school, Bailey and Carrigan bands are directed by Cassandra K. Marcella, Rachel Mekeel and Angelo Vessichio, respectively.
School music teacher Paul Scanlon, a member of the West Haven Council on the Arts, will serve as the master of ceremonies.
The event will also include food trucks.