Fort Jackson 282nd Band Marks Centennial of World War I Armistice with Brass, Organ Music

Nov 9, 2018

Devastation caused by the Battle of Verdun (1916). To celebrate the restoration of the town's ruined cathedral (upper right), composer Marcel Dupré wrote his Poème Héroïque. Members of Fort Jackson's 282nd Army Band will perform the work and other selections connected to the events of the two world wars in a Veterans Day Concert marking the centennial of the WWI Armistice.

It’s not every day that the musicians of Fort Jackson’s 282nd Army Band have the opportunity to perform alongside an organist.

“This is very unique. This usually doesn’t happen,” Bandmaster George T. Bauer says of the ensemble’s upcoming Veterans Day Concert. With fifteen brass players, three percussionists, and an organist performing selections by composers ranging from J.S. Bach to Maurice Duruflé, the concert is far from what many might think typical for one given by a military band.

“I assembled some rather unique pieces for this concert,” Bauer notes. “It’s not going to be your ordinary army band concert. We’re not playing any Sousa.”

For Bauer, the uniqueness of the selections and performers involved is appropriate for a concert being given on an especially meaningful day; Veterans Day 2018 will be the one-hundredth anniversary of the armistice which brought an end to the fighting in World War I.   

“We’ve put a lot of effort into marking the centennial of the armistice,” Bauer says. “It’s a very significant event in history.”

Indeed, the significance of World War I and the peace which followed it extend even to the world of music. The Poème Héroïque of Marcel Dupré (1886-1971), which will be featured on the 282nd Band’s program, is just one example of a composition which both celebrates postwar rebuilding and commemorates the soldiers who lost their lives in the conflict. Dupré wrote the piece for performance at the rededication ceremony of the Cathedral of Verdun some twenty years after the structure was severely damaged in the longest battle of the war.

In addition to the Poème, the Veterans Day program includes a range of other selections tied to the events of the two world wars.

The concert will be held at 5pm on Sunday November 11th, at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Columbia. More information can be found here.

In this interview that aired Thursday, November 8th, SCPR’s Bradley Fuller speaks with Chief Bauer about the 282nd Army Band and its Veterans Day 2018 program.