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November 24, 2010

Press Photo

The Assembly Center at The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville was filled to capacity as the United States Army Field Band and Soldier's Chorus from Washington performed.

The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville welcomed Colonel Thomas H. Palmalier and the US Army Field Band and Soldier's Chorus to the Graceville campus Sunday, November 7. Over 100 musicians, singers, and technical support members gathered to perform a memorable and spectacular program of music for a packed audience in the BCF Assembly Center.

BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen welcomed the Band and Chorus as well as the audience of nearly a 1,000 people. The Assembly Center was filled with the enthusiastic sounds of a full band playing a "Patriotic Prologue" and John Philip Sousa's "A Century of Progress."

Amidst an afternoon of notable compositions one right after the other, Carter Pann's arrangement of "Slalom" was followed by Staff Sergeant Charis Strange's vocal performance of "A Letter from Sullivan Ballou." Ballou is known for the letter he wrote to his wife before being mortally wounded in the first battle of Bull Run in 1861. Strange's performance of the eloquent letter was masterfully presented as the audience sensed the emotion both through the cadence of her voice and her facial expressions.

Though all of the songs were inspirational, there was one in particular that brought the crowd to its feet, the tributary "Armed Forces Salute." The musical number gives recognition to each branch of the military service and salutes all of the men and women who have served and are currently serving in the armed service, both at home and abroad. As each service branch was recognized and veterans from those branches stood, Colonel Palmalier, Commander and Conductor of the Army Band, turned to salute those servicemen and women in the audience. A tearful honoring of both the past and the present.

On a night they are sure to remember, ten high school band students from Sneads, Marianna, Crestview, Graceville, and Chipley were given the opportunity to accompany the band during one of the arrangements.

Five perfectly pitched piccolo players led a stirring rendition of "Stars and Stripes Forever" that once again brought the crowd to their feet in applause. Followed by the awe inspiring final number of the evening, "Proud to Be An American."

According to Kinchen, The Baptist College of Florida was honored to host this magnificent performance in support of our nation's military. Plans are already underway to have an annual event of this caliber.

For more information about the Army Field Band, visit www.ArmyFieldBand.com.