By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER
The Plainville Wind Ensemble and Central Connecticut State University will once again hold a free concert in honor of Veterans Day, but this year the program will offer a special twist.
As part of a nationwide effort to acknowledge and celebrate all veterans who served during the Vietnam War era, commemorative pins will be presented by Hartford Healthcare at Home to veterans during the concert.
Any living U.S. veteran who served active duty during the period between Nov. 1, 1955 and May 15, 1975, regardless of location, is eligible to apply for a commemorative pin. For more information, and to apply, veterans are urged to contact Sherri Vogt of Hartford Healthcare, sherri.vogt@ hhchealth.org.
PWE flutist, Kathleen Marsan, said the annual concert was first held in 2005 after she reached out to the CCSU Veterans Affairs Department, extending an invitation to attend a Veterans Day concert to be held at Plainville High School.
“The woman on the other end of the phone said, “You’re not going to believe this, but we’re looking to have a veterans concert, would you be interested in playing here?” and we have played every year since then, it was just the right time at the right place type thing,” said Marsan. “So we have been working with Chris Gutierrez [director, CCSU Veterans Affairs Department] and every year we put on a concert along with the Hardware City Detachment Unit, they’re the Marine alumni group, and we help them collect toys for Toys for Tots.”
Several veterans organizations have been invited to the event as well, in order to connect veterans to services throughout the state. Plainville’s Sea Cadets will also be taking part in the event. Every year, Marsan explained, the Sea Cadets do the honor guard and “have become a tradition.”
“For the past couple years without the parade in Hartford—the Veterans Day Parade—I’ve always been hoping that this concert could become a statewide event, that we could honor the veterans in one way or another,” said Ken Bagley, who has been directing the ensemble for six seasons.
The concert, to be held on Sunday, Nov. 17, at 2 p.m., will be held on the CCSU campus in Welte Hall. The parking garage and Welte Hall are accessible, and free to the public. Attending the concert is free, but the PWE asks that attendees bring a new and unwrapped toy to be donated to Toys for Tots.
The 84-member Plainville Wind Ensemble is a community symphonic concert band that has played in festivals such as the American Concert Band Festival, the Boston Community Band Festival held at Faneuil Hall, and the Lake George Community Band Festival, amongst others.
To learn more about the group, and to see where they will be performing next, visit www.plainvillewindensemble.com.