This is something good. Tickets were free. I picked up two during intermission the previous Saturday during the concert at Tobin Center. All we had to do was drive down to Trinity University and find a parking place. Unlike the previous weekend, parking was free.
This was an all out salute to our armed forces and featured prominently the Air Force Brass and Blue ensemble in addition to the San Antonio Symphony. It was a celebration of heroic music:
- Paul Murtha: Heroic Fanfare
- George M. Cohan: Medley Symphonic Suite
- John Williams: Hymn to the Fallen
- George Gershwin: Buzzin’ the Bee
- Zequinha de Abreu: Tico-Tico
- Raymond Premru: Blues March
- Aaron Copland: Lincoln Portrait (narrated by Master Sergeant Harry Kibbe)
- Samuel A. Ward: America the Beautiful
- Robert Wendel: The Armed Forces March
- Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Op. 49
Leading the orchestra was San Antonio Symphony Conductor Akiko Fujimoto with Captain Rafael F. Toro-Quiñones filling in for special numbers.
At the finish the orchestra gave a hearty encore featuring John Philip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever. In particular I, and others who have served, enjoyed being asked to stand and be recognized. San Antonio is a military town with over 80,000 members of all services stationed here.
There was a special salute to recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor who had served in San Antonio, including former President Theodore Roosevelt, who organized the Rough Riders at the Menger Hotel. Douglas MacArthur, commander of Army forces in the World War Two Pacific Theater, was a graduate and valedictorian of the Texas Military Institute in San Antonio. Also saluted was Arthur MacArthur, father of Douglas, also stationed in San Antonio and a Medal of Honor recipient. Plaques at the Tobin Center honor each of these heroes with San Antonio connections.
This is a yearly event, and it’s free. You need to get tickets in advance from the San Antonio Symphony ticket office. It’s part of the November celebration of our military veterans.