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Army band to perform at BC3

The Pennsylvania Army National Guard 28th Infantry Division band will perform in the Succop Theater at Butler County Community College’s main campus on June 27. The approximately 75-minute show requires a free ticket. Submitted Photo

Butler County Community College guests on Thursday, June 27, can attend the sole stateside performances of the oldest continuously serving band in U.S. Army history before its 39 musicians leave for a 10-day, 11-show tour in Lithuania.

The performance by Pennsylvania Army National Guard 28th Infantry Division band will begin at 7 p.m. in the Succop Theater on BC3’s main campus in Butler Township. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The approximately 75-minute show is free and open to the community. Seating will be limited. Tickets can be reserved by calling BC3’s box office at 724-284-8505, or obtained during weekday business hours at Butler Radio Network, 252 Pillow St., Butler, and at the Butler County Chamber of Commerce, 130 S. Main St., Butler. Only ticketed guests will be admitted into the theater.

“As the community’s college, it is important for us to bring groups like this here,” said Mikayla Moretti, the BC3 Education Foundation’s interim director of fundraising and external relations. “As a military friendly institution, we wanted to make sure we support this band and celebrate the musicians before they go off to Europe.

“Our visitors will enjoy an evening of patriotic and other types of music.”

‘Then you’re going to get a rock show’

The infantry division’s parent concert band will perform first, said Sgt. 1st Class Tanna Sullivan, a 16-year clarinetist and the band’s readiness noncommissioned officer. A number of musicians from the concert band will later play in the division’s Keystone jazz band, Keystone brass quintet, ceremonial band or Coverfire rock band, Sullivan said.

“When a lot of people think of a military band, they think of marches and ceremonies,” Sullivan said. “We are going to bring in a professional entertainment. It is not going to be just marches. There will be a little of that. But we are going to play traditional concert band music. We’re going to play classic jazz. Then you’re going to get a rock show.”

The Pennsylvania Army National Guard 28th Infantry Division is headquartered in Harrisburg. Its band members range in age from a 60-year-old trumpeter to an 18-year-old clarinetist, and in rank from Specialist to Chief Warrant Officer 3.

In civilian life, the musicians work as police officers, music teachers and customer service representatives, Sullivan said.

“We have a lot of soldiers who have family members near Butler, and it is always a pleasure to be able to play for our families,” Sullivan said.

“A lot of us are still in (the Pennsylvania Army National Guard) because of the support of our families. Getting to present to people who are nearby and support the military the way that Western Pennsylvania does is just a pleasure.”

‘Put effort into the music’

Americana is the show’s theme, Sullivan said. The band will perform mostly music written by Americans or popularized by iconic American groups, Sullivan said.

Selections will include pieces written or performed by Francis Scott Key, Glenn Miller, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, John Philip Sousa, Nirvana and Goldfinger, Sullivan said.

“What is amazing about the band is that we come together one weekend a month, and we can put on a concert production that is just as good as some of the active-duty bands that are rehearsing every single day,” Sullivan said.

“That’s a real testament to the quality of musicians that we have because we are balancing full-time careers or parenthood, or are full-time college students and we still have time to put effort into the music that we are going to present in Butler.”

The 28th is the oldest continuously serving division in the U.S. Army. The division and its band of buglers and snare drummers were established in 1879. Buglers and snare drummers once alerted soldiers to charge, hold fire or change the direction of their fire by playing varying notes, Sullivan said.

BC3 has been designated as a Military Friendly School for an eighth time by Viqtory, the service-disabled, veteran-owned small business in Moon Township assesses educational institutions nationwide.

Bill Foley is coordinator of news and media content at Butler County Community College.

The Pennsylvania Army National Guard 28th Infantry Division band is shown during a 2023 show in State College. The band will perform in the Succop Theater on Butler County Community College’s main campus June 27. The approximately 75-minute show requires a ticket and will be free and open to the community. Submitted photo
The Pennsylvania Army National Guard 28th Infantry Division band is shown during a 2023 show in State College. The band will perform in the Succop Theater on Butler County Community College’s main campus June 27. The approximately 75-minute show requires a ticket and will be free and open to the community. Submitted photo
The Pennsylvania Army National Guard 28th Infantry Division band is shown during a 2024 show in Boalsburg. The band will perform in the Succop Theater on Butler County Community College’s main campus June 27. The approximately 75-minute show requires a ticket and will be free and open to the community. Submitted photo
The Pennsylvania Army National Guard 28th Infantry Division band is shown during a 2023 performance in Kuwait. The band will play in the Succop Theater on Butler County Community College’s main campus June 27. The approximately 75-minute show requires a ticket and will be free and open to the community. Submitted photo

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