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2023-2024 Season Opener ‘Saluting America’s Veterans VIII’

Trumpet players rehearsing before concert

Lowcountry Wind Symphony opens the 2023-2024 season with ‘Saluting America’s Veterans VIII’

The Lowcountry Wind Symphony (LWS), under the direction of Maestro Donald F. Jemella, proudly opens each concert season with a tribute to our veterans – past present and always. The Roman Numeral VIII denotes that this is the 8th season we have so honored our women and men in uniform. Each year the patriotic music changes, but the passion for those who keep our country safe never dims. 


This year LWS will present Saluting America’s Veterans VIII in three different venues. All concerts are free, but donations are gratefully accepted.

Sunday, November 5, 2023 at 4:00 P.M.

St. John’s Lutheran Church

(Open to the Public)

157 Lady’s Island Drive

Beaufort, SC 29907


Monday, November 6, 2023 at 7:00 P.M.

Magnolia Hall, Sun City

(Residents/Guests Only)

Bluffton, SC 29909


Wednesday, November 8, 2023 at 7:00 P.M.

Dataw Island, Carolina Ballroom

(DIC Members/Guests Only)

Dataw, SC 29920 


Lowcountry Wind Symphony is a 55 member concert band, made up of amateur and professional woodwind, brass, and percussion players from the greater Beaufort area. 


The program includes stirring marches and quiet reflective compositions. Some are familiar,  written long ago, standing the test of time, while others are newly composed.  Each of these will reach deep into your heart engendering pride and gratitude for all veterans.  Guest vocal soloist Katie McAllister will perform on the program.


Here are a few of the selections from the program:

American Patrol – This popular marchwas written in 1885 and incorporates American patriotic melodies of the era as well as original music. The ‘patrol’ format, popular in the last half of the 19th century, suggests a marching band approaching from a distance, passing, and then fading away.

Purple Heart – Composer David Shaffer taught thousands of students in his forty plus years as a Music Educator. In 2005 one of his former students was among 14 killed in action. The following summer Mr. Shaffer wrote this piece in tribute to these brave soldiers.  The Purple Heart is a specific combat decoration awarded to members of the U. S. Armed Forces who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy. Posthumously it is given to the next of kin to those were killed or have died of wounds received in action. As Mr. Shaffer notes, “Some give all…..all give some.” 

Eternal Father, Strong to Save – Often referred to as ‘The Navy Hymn’, composer Stephen Melillo has arranged this familiar music to honor “they who go down to Sea in ships…” He dedicated this version to the souls of the USS Indianapolis lost at sea in July, 1945.  The ship was sunk by a Japanese torpedo while returning to port following delivery of materials to construct the atom bomb. This US naval disaster resulted in the loss of over two thirds of its crew. 

Band of Brothers Symphonic Suite – This heroic and haunting music, arranged by Jerry Brubaker, was written by well-known film composer Michael Kamen as the theme to the HBO Mini-Series, Band of Brothers. This Mini-Series is based on historian Stephen E. Ambrose’s non-fiction book of the same name, and was created by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. Episodes first aired in September 2001 and the series won both Emmy and Golden Globe awards.   The music projects a sweeping diverse score that encompasses soaring ballads as well as driving, intense splashes of sound. 

The Ultimate Patriotic Sing- Along – provides an opportunity for the audience to join LWS in celebrating the red, white, and blue and those who bravely serve her, by singing ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’,  ‘America the Beautiful’, ‘You’re a Grand Old Flag’, and ‘God Bless America’.  

God Bless America – Irving Berlin, a proud Jewish American emigrant, revised the song he wrote in 1918 as storm clouds of war gathered in Europe in 1938. The additional words “as we raise our voices, in a solemn prayer” ask for God’s blessing and peace for the nation.  It is among the most beloved of our patriotic songs. 


Of special note, the Dataw concert is part of the annual Veterans Week “Tee It Up For The Troops” celebration, which honors all veterans and raises funds to support men and women in the Armed Forces. At Sun City, the program is being sponsored and hosted by the Sun City Veterans Association.  LWS is honored to be part of both of these outstanding programs for the second year in a row.


LWS welcomes new members, and auditions are not required. Talented high school youth are also encouraged to join us. 


For more information or to become involved in band operations support please contact

We invite you to join us for ‘Saluting America’s Veterans VIII’ as together we continue ‘Exploring What’s Musically Possible’.

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The Lowcountry Wind Symphony Scholarship Committee is accepting applications for