Aug 27, 2013
01:38 PM
Arts & Entertainment

Connecticut's Best Kept Musical Secret, And Force in Fight for World Peace, Has Special Concert Sunday

Connecticut's Best Kept Musical Secret, And Force in Fight for World Peace, Has Special Concert Sunday

The U.S. Coast Guard Band in a photo from its website.

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Did you know Connecticut is home to a band that—however indirectly—is a weapon in our nation’s fight for global peace and justice and against terrorism and oppression?

That’s right, we’re the host state for the “premier band representing …. the Department of Homeland Security,” a band whose mission, in part, is to “preserve and honor the heritage, traditions and history of our nation.”

This band also happens to be composed of world-class musicians armed with talent, impressive credentials and mastery over a repertoire that ranges from patriotic marches to symphonic pieces and large-scale jazz numbers—and beyond.

If that’s not enough to intrigue you, consider that all of this band’s concerts are free and open to the public—and that it was the first premier American military band to tour Japan, in 2008, and the first American military band to perform in the former Soviet Union, with concerts in Leningrad and elsewhere in 1989.

The musical treasure-in-residence is the Coast Guard Band, and if you’ve never enjoyed a live performance, the perfect opportunity awaits this weekend, as the band will offer a special concert at 2 p.m. Sunday in Leamy Concert Hall at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London.

It’s the final concert of band director Capt. Kenneth W. Megan, who took the helm in October 2004 and has led the band on tours throughout the U.S., Japan and Taiwan, brought in celebrated soloists and produced numerous CDs, among other accomplishments.

Before reading on—and perhaps making plans to attend the concert—open a “window” on the band’s musical world and listen to the wide range of what it plays. You’ll be impressed, and likely surprised.

“The Coast Guard Band is augmented by many of its former members for Captain Kenneth W. Megan’s final concert,” says a release on this weekend’s event. “Join us for an afternoon both of remembrance and a look into the future as the baton is passed to new director, Lt. Com. Adam Williamson.”

In tribute fashion, the concert Sunday will include some of Captain Megan’s favorite pieces and performers from his “storied career” in the Coast Guard. Former soprano soloist Lisa Williamson will return for “Mellow Sounds of the Radio Era,” the release says, while retired clarinetist Dan Lukens will be featured in George Gershwin’s unforgettable tune, “Walk the Dog.”

Lieutenant Commander Williamson will lead the band in “Autumn Dream” by Archibald Joyce and Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Jesters,” the release says.

Meanwhile, Captain Megan is set to narrate the American classic, “Casey at the Bat” by Steve Reineke, relinquishing the podium to former director, Captain Lewis Buckley (USCG Ret.), according to the release. Musician 1st Class Robert Langslet, piano, and soprano soloist Musician 1st Class Megan Weikleenget will enjoy the spotlight during George Gershwin’s delightful “Catfish Row.”

The concert concludes with the first movement of “American Journey” by John Williams, the release says, adding, “The gathering of old friends and the celebration of new faces make for a fitting tribute to Captain Megan’s wonderful career with the Coast Guard Band.”

This event is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.

Connecticut's Best Kept Musical Secret, And Force in Fight for World Peace, Has Special Concert Sunday

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