Editor's Note: This post was contributed by Nance Guth of The First Brass in partnership with The Jacobites Band. Nance shares her reflections on what being a part of Legacy of Valor means to the two groups. To learn more about the campaign, visit FreedomPassItOn.org.
Musicians are always drawn to God and Country. When we learned of The Patterson Foundation's Legacy of Valor campaign, we felt it was is the perfect vehicle to help us express that. With the foundation's help, The First Brass and the Jacobites Pipe & Drum Band were able to realize their dreams to share their patriotism through music and stories with the public.
We learned from The Patterson Foundation that partnering increases our sphere of influence, which increases the number of people we touch in and out of our community.
The Legacy of Valor appealed to us because of what it means to the Sarasota region, and it is an honor to be a part of this yearlong venture and to help honor veterans, inspire patriotism and embrace freedom.
Creating a Partnership
In March of this year, when we were in the early stages of planning the “Celebration of Independence Day” event, nobody knew that it would evolve into the grand show or joyful music that reflected on the anniversary of the birth of the United States of America. Artistic Director Gary Reinstrom had so many ideas that it even made his head swim.
It was a no-brainer to include the Jacobite Pipe & Drum Band and to team up with The Church of the Redeemer. The location was perfect and Ann Stephenson-Moe, organist and music director at Redeemer, got excited about the group when she attended a concert last fall and asked that we be a part of their annual 4th of July celebration.
The number of musician-participants grew when one of the First Brass French horn players, Marina Pope, casually mentioned to Gary about a group she was involved with called the Florida Brass. They are described as an alumni band of bugles and drums based in Lakeland, Florida. The members are from all over the country, and their musical backgrounds are just as diverse. They were enthusiastic and looked sharp and there was no question they should join us in the event.
Once the initial groups were established, we worked on a partnership concept for the Legacy of Valor. We were honored and delighted when we were picked to be one of the 17 inaugural community organizations chosen to participate.
With the support of The Patterson Foundation, we were able to beef up the presentation of the show and bring in more excitement with the addition of the Rhythm-Inlet. Gary heard a primitive drum band playing with a bagpiper and immediately wanted to recreate that on the 4th. He met with them and loved the idea and the rest is history!
The final addition to the show was local vocalist Jeanette LaVoy. Her renditions of pieces like God Bless America and the Battle Hymn of the Republic added a whole other dimension to the event.
A very important side line of this concert and the entire year is the partnership of the First Brass and Cell Phones for Soldiers, a national nonprofit dedicated to providing cost-free communication services to active duty military members and veterans.
The First Brass is a registered collection agent with boxes in 19 churches and businesses from Venice to Sun City Center. To date, we have collected over 600 phones and will continue this endeavor until the end of the year.
People were asked to bring their phones to the 4th of July show and they did. It was a great showing of how the local people want to help those who are serving.
WSLR teamed up with the First Brass to simulcast the Independence Day show live on 96.5. It was broadcast via their website and many tuned in that were not able to attend in person. That includes me -- listening from my trip to Paris, France! They are a great group of folks to work with and included a live interview with Gary prior to the concert to let everyone know about the event and Legacy of Valor.
Of course, none of this would have been possible without the support of The Patterson Foundation as our partner in every sense of the word. They have walked along the path with us from beginning to end and have helped guide us through the maze of publicity and right down to the process of closing the street to assure the safety of everyone involved in our event.
From the beginning, Legacy of Valor Coordinator Alicia Chalmers has guided us. Our entire partnership experience has been one that has encouraged us to connect, build and leverage with others (thanks to Debra Jacobs for planting the seeds!) Because of this we have also enjoyed additional partnering opportunities with the Military Officers Association, the local veteran associations and the Unconditional Surrender celebration on August 14. In the future, we will join the Venice Concert Band in a patriotic event on February 24.
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Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.
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