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.

 

The D-Day Commemoration Ceremony and Wreath Presentation will take place at the National World War II Memorial on June 6, 2018. The ceremony will feature the Music Celebrations International D-Day Memorial Wind Band – a mass band consisting of ensembles and musicians 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 D-Day Veteran and Director Emeritus of the United States Air Force Band, Retired Colonel Arnald D. Gabriel (Ret.) and Colonel Dennis M. Layendecker; D.M.A.; Col. USAF (Ret.).

 

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 Friends of the National World War II Memorial.

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

Dr. Dennis M. Layendecker holds George Mason University’s Heritage Chair in Music and is the Director of Orchestral Studies for the School of Music within the College of Visual and Performing Arts. From June 2010 through May 2016 he served as Director of the School of Music. He now serves both as George Mason University Symphony Orchestra conductor and as a classroom instructor. A native of Springfield, Illinois, Dr. Layendecker was raised in a family of musicians and began formal musical studies at age 7. He is a United States Air Force full colonel (retired) who honorably served 26 years on active duty. Prior to joining the faculty of the School of Music Colonel Layendecker was the senior commissioned officer/musician in the Department of Defense. During his final assignment on active duty – July 2002 through June 2009 – he served as the Commander, Music Director and Principal Conductor of The United States Air Force Band, Washington, D.C. Later he continued to serve in that role concurrent with additional duties as Chief of Music for the Air Force from December 2007 until his retirement in September 2009.

 

Commissioned in October 1983, then Lieutenant Layendecker was selected by Colonel Arnald D. Gabriel to join The United States Air Force Band, in Washington, D.C., as Director of The Air Force Strings and Associate Conductor of The Air Force Symphony Orchestra. In 1988, he was selected as Commander / Conductor of the Fifteenth Air Force Band of the Golden West at March Air Force Base, Riverside, California. In 1993, he was promoted two years early and competitively selected to attend the Air Command and Staff College (ACSC) at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama as a unique honor offered exclusively to the top 10% of commissioned officers in his peer group worldwide. Upon graduation, he served on the ACSC faculty as a certified Air Force instructor, teaching Theater Operational Warfare, winning superior accolades from faculty and students, and rated in the top 1% of teaching staff by the school’s Commandant. In July 1995, then Major Layendecker assumed command of the United States Air Forces in Europe Band at Sembach Air Base, Germany. In 2002, he returned to the United States promoted to full colonel four years ahead of his peer group and appointed by the Chief of Staff of the Air Force to lead that service’s premier musical organization.

 

Throughout his conducting career, Dr. Layendecker has performed across America, the United Kingdom, Western and Eastern Europe, and Japan—from Los Angeles to New York, Vienna to London and Oslo to Tokyo. As a participant in U.S. diplomatic efforts overseas, he has guest conducted the most prestigious foreign military ensembles from Great Britain, Russia, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Belgium, and Japan. He has conducted top flight American and foreign musical units in such notable venues as the Semper Opera, Dresden; Neues Gewandhaus Leipzig; Royal Albert Hall in London, Beethovenhalle in Bonn; and The Cirque Royale in Brussels. He has conducted for numerous world leaders including seven American presidents, Queen Elizabeth of England, Pope John-Paul II, U.S. Cabinet Secretaries and members of Congress, American Ambassadors and other senior government and military officials around the globe. His radio and television broadcast and recording credits include appearances on BBC, German Radio and Television, Polish National Radio, Radio Luxembourg, RAI Italy, public radio, American Public Television, PBS, national television stations from coast to coast, and Armed Forces Radio and Television (AFRTS) globally, and 40 plus CD recording productions, many of those commercially distributed on the Altissimo label. A few of his more notable ceremonial appearances included conducting all music for the official dedications of the United States Air Force Memorial, the Pentagon Memorial honoring the victims of 9/11, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, and Mount Rushmore … 50 years after the originally planned ceremony was superseded by America’s entrance into World War II.

 

Dr. Layendecker is a graduate of the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago where he completed a Bachelor of Music Education degree in 1975, including applied studies in piano and instrumental emphasis in lower brass. During the 1976/77 academic year, he served on the music faculty of Glenbrook North High School, Northbrook, Illinois under the supervision of Dr. David Walter and Peter Herr. Through Herr, Layendecker met John Paynter and was soon playing euphonium in Northwestern University’s summer band program. Inspired by this introduction and experience, he returned to the American Conservatory in the autumn of 1976 to begin conducting studies in earnest with Steven Larsen, orchestration with William Ferris, and piano studies with Miss Grace Welsh. Subsequently, in autumn 1977 he was awarded a two-year Belgian State piano scholarship to attend the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels where he studied with renowned pianist Robert Staeyaert … and conductor Ronald Zollman. Following Zollman’s encouragement, he pursued summer master classes in conducting with Maestros Witold Rowicki at the Vienna Academy of Music and Franco Ferrara at the Academia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy. In 1980 Layendecker was awarded a full conducting assistantship to attend Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois where he earned a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting in 1981 under the tutelage of Frederick Ockwell. In 1988, he completed the Doctor of Musical Arts in Orchestral Conducting mentored by Maestro Donald Thulean and Dr. Robert Garofalo at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Interspersed throughout his collegiate career Dr. Layendecker studied composition with composers Raymond Keldermans, Irwin Fischer, Stella Roberts, Alan Stout and Eugene O’Brien.

 

Beyond his civilian collegiate credentials, Dr. Layendecker is a graduate of the United States Air Force’s 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 at the Air University, 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 three oak leaf clusters, Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with oak leaf cluster, National Defense Service Medal with bronze star, and the Global War on Terrorism Medal.

 

Prior to his Air Force career, Dr. Layendecker served on the conducting and piano faculties of The American Conservatory of Music, Chicago; as Orchestra Director, Eastern Washington University in Cheney; and as Music Director/Conductor of the Spokane Junior and Youth Symphonies, Spokane, Washington. In addition to both his official military and civilian duties, he has remained active as a choral conductor, church musician, and pianist both in America and in Europe, and he currently serves as Music Director of Our Lady of Victory Catholic Parish in Washington D.C.

 

Following a courtship begun during a Dutch language class at the Royal Conservatory of Music, Myriam Tartari of Brussels, Belgium kindly married Denny Layendecker in the summer of 1979. Celebrating 38 years together, they continue to raise the last two of six children and are very proud grandparents.

Festival Itinerary

Day One: Monday, June 4, 2018

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
D-Day Memorial Wind Band Welcome Dinner
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: Tuesday, June 5

Breakfast at the hotel
D-Day Memorial Wind Band rehearsal
Lunch, on own
Take a tour of one of the Smithsonian Institution Museums
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
D-Day Memorial Wind Band rehearsal
Return to the hotel for overnight

 

Day Three: Wednesday, June 6

Breakfast at the hotel and check-out
Performance of the D-Day Memorial Wind Band at the D-Day Commemoration and Wreath Presentation, presented by Friends of the World War II Memorial
Lunch, on own
Following the performance, last-minute sightseeing as time allows
Depart for home

Print PDF

Day One: Monday, June 4, 2018

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: Tuesday, June 5

Breakfast at the hotel
Take a tour of one of the Smithsonian Institution Museums
Lunch, on own
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)
Festival Welcome 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: Wednesday, June 6

Breakfast at the hotel
Participate in the final D-Day Memorial Wind Band rehearsal
Lunch, on own
Participate in the D-Day Memorial Concert
Dinner at a local restaurant
Return to the hotel for overnight

 

Day Four: Thursday, 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

Print PDF

Day One: Monday, June 4, 2018

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: Tuesday, June 5

Breakfast at the hotel
Take a tour of one of the Smithsonian Institution Museums
Lunch, on own
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)
Welcome Festival 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: Wednesday, June 6

Breakfast at the hotel
Participate in the final D-Day Memorial Wind Band rehearsal
Lunch, on own
Participate in the D-Day Memorial Concert
Dinner at a local restaurant
Return to the hotel for overnight

 

Day Four: Thursday, June 7

Breakfast at the hotel
Take a tour of one of the Smithsonian Institution Museums
Lunch, on own
Visit Ford’s Theater, where Lincoln was shot, and the Peterson House, where Lincoln passed away
Take a tour of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Remember the Children: Daniel’s Story
Dinner at a local restaurant
Return to the hotel for overnight

 

Day Five: Friday, June 8

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

Print PDF
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