Spirit of America


The tragic events that occurred September 11, 2001 will be remembered in people’s hearts and minds for the rest of their lives, people will “Never Forget” those who died that day.  People remember those lives lost by attending church services, and memorial ceremonies. However the Greater Latrobe Marching Band was honored to spend the day with US Military soldiers and veterans at the US Army’s Spirit of America show at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. 

In honor of the 225th birthday of the US Army in 2000, the show takes a “patriotic look at our Nation’s proud history through the eyes of the American Soldier,” reads the show’s program. The world famous US Army units including The US Army Band “Pershing’s Own”, The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, and the US Army Drill Team performed after intermission and amazed the entire audience at their skill.  But before the intermission, short reenactments of specific battles in our nation’s history were acted out by US Amy soldiers themselves.  History teacher Mr. Ferraro, seeing the show for his second time on September 11, 2010 made the comment that, “It’s kind of a quick survey of history and an overall feeling of patriotic celebration” said Mr. Ferraro.

Band director Mr. Hamill said that he got the tickets because he had heard that it would be a spectacular show with incredible performances from the bands.  So, he knew that it would be both exciting and beneficial to take the entire band to see, what he had heard was an incredible performance.

The seniors, section captains, council members, and Mr. Hamill all had special VIP privileges at the show.  The VIP tickets allowed that select group of people to, not only have seats close to the stage on the first floor, but they were also invited to the Lexus Club in the Consol Energy Center.  “It was cool to go to the Lexus Club and get to hang out with all of the important people” said colorguard member Jocelyn Stas.  While there, they met with Major General Karl R. Horst and Command Sergeant Major Michael W. Williams, who were honored guests and speakers at the show, in addition to the special veterans who were also VIP guests.  Stas also commented, “The whole thing was an awesome experience.  I felt so important that day.”

The highlight of the show for the band students was when the individual US Army performing groups came out.  The up close details made the show a spectacular and great learning experience for the band students.  “I really enjoyed the Drill Team because that is something that I do.  It got me motivated to take my colorguard technique to the next level,” said Stas.  The precision and accuracy of the soldiers in every performing group amazed the students.  Band director Mr. Hamill feels confident that the students “would pick up on the idea of hard work and dedication to produce an inspiring performance,” such as the one they had seen.