The City of Dunedin Concert Band will present "Within These Hallowed Halls," a pre-Memorial Day show to mark its final performance of the 2010 season, tonight.
You may want to wear a helmet — the stirring patriotic pieces may just bring the house down.
"There won't be a dry eye in the house, mine included," predicted director and conductor Louis Alan Zagar.
Indeed, during a recent rehearsal, a few band members were seen reaching for the Kleenex.
The patriotic tribute mimics the feel of the televised National Memorial Day Concert held each year in Washington, D.C., "minus the fireworks," said Zagar, 60, who holds a doctorate in wind band conducting and instrumental music.
The evening will include narration, memorabilia and a video tribute. Members of the Sons of the American Revolution and a Dunedin Scout troop will provide a color guard.
The band nearly closed up shop after its longtime conductor, Ray Hawkinson, died two years ago. Zagar took up the baton, adding challenging selections and expanding the band of about 30 musicians to 70. The musicians range in age from 14 to 88.
Tonight's show opens with George Gershwin's rousing Strike Up the Band. Sandy Keith, Dunedin's pipe band chief, will follow with a bagpipe version of the beloved hymn Amazing Grace. Another highlight will be John Philip Sousa's U.S. Field Artillery March, complete with the sound of gunshots. Largo, a selection based on the old spiritual Goin' Home, will pay tribute to those who served their country and paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Men and women of all branches of the military will be honored during the playing of the Armed Forces Salute.
"We just have some wonderful music and other special surprises planned," Zagar said.