D-Day Memorial Wind Band Concert

On June 6, 1944, the greatest military invasion in history commenced on the northwestern shores of France – the Allied Invasion and Liberation of France from Nazi Germany during World War II. Now known as D-Day, this event marked the beginning of the end of Adolf Hitler’s oppressive regime.

 

To commemorate the 73rd anniversary of the battle, a D-Day Memorial Concert will take place on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on June 6, 2017. The concert will feature the D-Day Memorial Wind Band – a mass band consisting of bands from across the United States invited to visit our nation’s capital and join together to perform as part of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

 

The D-Day Memorial Wind Band will be conducted by the legendary Colonel Arnald D. Gabriel – Conductor Emeritus of the United States Air Force Band, and member of the United States Army’s 29th Infantry Division that fought in the Battle of Normandy.

 

Join us as we salute the heroes of the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. This event will be produced and sponsored by Music Celebrations International, with co-sponsorship by the American Veterans Center.

D-Day Memorial Wind Band

Imagine Your Band Performing Under The Baton Of A World War II Legend On The D-Day Anniversary


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Artistic Director: Col. Arnald D. Gabriel

 

Col. Arnald D. Gabriel retired from the United States Air Force in 1985 following a distinguished 36 year military career, at which time he was awarded his third Legion of Merit for his service to the United States Air Force and to music education throughout the country.

 

He served as Commander/Conductor of the internationally renowned U.S. Air Force Band, Symphony Orchestra, and Singing Sergeants from 1964 to 1985. In 1990, he was named the first Conductor Emeritus of the USAF Band at a special concert held at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington,

 

Col. Gabriel served on the faculty of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, from 1985 to 1995, as Conductor of the GMU Symphony Orchestra and as Chairman, Department of Music for eight of those years. In recognition of his ten years service to the university, he was named Professor Emeritus of Music.

 

A combat machine gunner with the United States Army’s famed 29th Infantry Division in Europe during WW II, Gabriel received two awards of the Bronze Star Medal, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and the French Croix de Guerre.

 

Col. Gabriel’s professional honors include the very first Citation of Excellence awarded by the National Band Association, the Mid-West National Band and Orchestra Clinic’s Gold Medal of Honor and its Distinguished Service to Music Award, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia’s New Millennium Lifetime Achievement Award and its rarely presented National Citation for “significant contributions to music in America”, Kappa Kappa Psi’s Distinguished Service to Music Award, Phi Beta Mu’s Outstanding Contribution to Bands Award, and the St. Cecilia Award from the University of Notre Dame.

 

Col. Gabriel was inducted into the National Band Association Hall of Fame of Distinguished Band Conductors, becoming the youngest person ever to have received this honor. He is also a Past President of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association. In 2008, the US Air Force Band dedicated the Arnald D. Gabriel Hall in his honor, and Bands of America inducted Col Gabriel into its Hall of Fame. Col. Gabriel has performed in all 50 of the United States and in 50 countries around the world.

Artistic Director: Col. Dennis M. Layendecker

Dennis M. Layendecker; D.M.A.; Col. USAF (Ret.), is the Director of the George Mason University School of Music. He holds the Heritage Chair in Music and serves as Director of University Orchestras in the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA), positions he has held since joining the faculty in August 2009. The Heritage Chair in Music was established in the 1980s by former Mason president George Johnson and his wife Joanne as a way of promoting the arts on campus and within the community.

 

During his 26-year Air Force career Dr. Layendecker served as a band commander, conductor, artistic director, pianist, public spokesperson, educator, and diplomat for the Air Force at home and abroad. In July 2002, then Colonel Layendecker assumed command of The United States Air Force Band, Washington, D.C. As part of his duties he provided direct musical and ceremonial support to the President of the United States and his Cabinet, members of Congress and other high ranking civilian and military leaders nationally and internationally. In addition to his duties at the USAF Band, from December 2007, he also served as the Chief of Music for the Air Force. In this capacity he advised the Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs leadership on music policy, officer hiring, development and assignments, force structure, and total force integration of Air Force active duty and Air National Guard musical units. During his military career he led more than 6,000 musical performances worldwide in support of public outreach, community relations, troop morale and welfare, and recruitment and retention programs for the Air Force and Department of Defense. He officially retired from the Air Force in late August 2009.

 

Dr. Layendecker is a graduate of the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, where he was awarded a Bachelor of Music Education in 1975. He began his conducting studies in 1977 while on full piano scholarship attending the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels, Belgium. He subsequently augmented his conducting studies during summer master classes at the Academia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy, and at the Vienna (Austria) Academy of Music. In 1981, he earned a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and in 1988, completed a Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining the Air Force, Dr. Layendecker served on the music faculties of The American Conservatory of Music, Chicago, Illinois and Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Washington. He was inducted as a member of the American Bandmasters Association in 2006. He has remained active as a conductor and clinician throughout his professional career.

 

During his distinguished career in the Air Force Dr. Layendecker led many of America’s finest musicians throughout the United States, Asia, the United Kingdom, and Europe—from Los Angeles to New York, Vienna to London, and Oslo to Tokyo. Gifted in foreign languages, he is fluent in French and functional in German and Italian. He has performed in such notable venues as Washington D.C.’s National Theatre and D.A.R. Constitution Hall; Kodak Theatre in Hollywood; Semper Opera, Dresden; Neues Gewandhaus, Leipzig; Royal Albert Hall in London; Alte Opera, Frankfurt; and the Beethovenhalle in Bonn. He has led his ensembles before numerous world leaders to include seven American presidents, Queen Elizabeth of England, and Pope John Paul II. His radio and television broadcast credits include appearances on BBC, German Radio and Television, Polish National Radio, Radio Luxembourg, RAI Italy, and public radio and national television across America.

 

In addition to his civilian academic credentials, Dr. Layendecker is a graduate of the Air War College, a distinguished graduate of the Air Command and Staff College, and a graduate of the Air Force Academic Instructor’s School and Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with oak leaf cluster, National Defense Service Medal with bronze star, and the Global War on Terrorism Medal.

 

A native of Springfield, Illinois, Dr. Layendecker resides with his wife Myriam in Burke, Virginia. They have been blessed to raise six children, and late in 2009 welcomed their first grandchild, Simon Peters.

Festival Itinerary

Day One: June 4, 2017

Afternoon arrival in Washington, D.C.
Meet your Tour Manager, who will escort the group through the duration of your activities
Take a panoramic motorcoach tour of Historic Washington, D.C.
Check into your hotel
Dinner at a local restaurant
Take an evening walking tour of the Lincoln, Vietnam, Korean, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, and National World War II Memorials, as well as a view of the outside of the Washington Monument
Return to the hotel for overnight

 

Day Two: June 5

Breakfast at the hotel
Take a tour of one of the Smithsonian Institution Museums
Attend the Festival Welcome Lunch
Participate in a D-Day Memorial Wind Band rehearsal
Visit Arlington National Cemetery and participate in a special wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (pending confirmation)
Dinner at a local restaurant
Take an evening walking tour of the Jefferson Memorial and the Iwo Jima United States Marine Corps Memorial
Return to the hotel for overnight

 

Day Three: June 6

Breakfast at the hotel and check-out
Participate in the final D-Day Memorial Wind Band rehearsal
Lunch, on own
Participate in the D-Day Memorial Concert
Following the performance, last-minute sightseeing as time allows
Depart for home

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Day One: June 4, 2017

Afternoon arrival in Washington, D.C.
Meet your Tour Manager, who will escort the group through the duration of your activities
Take a panoramic motorcoach tour of Historic Washington, D.C.
Check into your hotel
Dinner at a local restaurant
Take an evening walking tour of the Lincoln, Vietnam, Korean, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, and National World War II Memorials, as well as a view of the outside of the Washington Monument
Return to the hotel for overnight

 

Day Two: June 5

Breakfast at the hotel
Take a tour of one of the Smithsonian Institution Museums
Attend the Festival Welcome Lunch
Participate in a D-Day Memorial Wind Band rehearsal
Visit Arlington National Cemetery and participate in a special wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (pending confirmation)
Dinner at a local restaurant
Take an evening walking tour of the Jefferson Memorial and the Iwo Jima United States Marine Corps Memorial
Return to the hotel for overnight

 

Day Three: June 6

Breakfast at the hotel and check-out
Participate in the final D-Day Memorial Wind Band rehearsal
Lunch, on own
Participate in the D-Day Memorial Concert
Following the performance, last-minute sightseeing as time allows
Depart for home

 

Day Four: June 7

Breakfast at the hotel and check-out
Take a walk along Pennsylvania Avenue for a view of the White House (White House visits must be requested through a member of Congress)
Visit Capitol Hill and see the Supreme Court and Capitol buildings
Visit the Library of Congress, the largest library in the world
Depart for home

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