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U.S. Army Band

Public Affairs

The U.S. Army Orchestra, one of the components of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall’s U.S. Army Band, “Pershing’s Own,” will present the premiere of a symphony Nov. 4 at 3 p.m. in Brucker Hall’s Loboda studio. The concert is free and seating is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The premiere, “Symphony No. 1, Opus 7,” composed by retired Army Reserve Col. Harold Van Heuvelen, will be conducted by Army Orchestra director Maj. Tod. A. Addison

Van Heuvelen joined the Army at the outbreak of World War II, spent 33 years in the Reserves, served as chief of Army Administration and Supply, and was an instructor at the Transportation School Officer Candidate School at New Orleans Army Air Base on Lake Pontchartrain, La.

Van Heuvelen studied music at Hope College in Holland, Mich., and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He also studied conducting under the legendary Leonard Bernstein at the Berkshire Music Festival in Tanglewood, Mass., in 1952. In program notes for the concert, the composer relates how Bernstein praised his symphony, likening it to the work of Johannes Brahms.

Van Heuvelen describes his symphony as taking the listener “from the year 1938 as Adolph Hitler’s troops were taking hold in Europe, and extends through 1945 when the peace of that bitter and costly war emerged.”

“My experiences were important and influential to the composition of “Symphony No. 1,” Van Heuvelen writes. The thematic material – a variety of rhythms, tonalities and percussive sounds – virtually speak of the events during that time.”

The U.S. Army Concert Band will also be holding two Veterans Day concerts next weekend. They will appear at the Weinberg Center for the Arts in Frederick, Md., Saturday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. , and at the Hylton Memorial Chapel in Woodbridge, Va., Sunday, Nov. 11 at 3 p.m. Free online tickets are available at www.usarmyband.com.