PAC to hold special concert Nov. 10

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The MHS ninth-grade Cardinal Band and the Madison-based 132nd National Guard Band will join forces for a joint performance on Sunday, Nov. 10 at the Performing Arts Center.

The concert begins at 2 p.m. and is free, MHS band director Brad Schneider said. That is because tax-supported military bands by law have to give free concerts, he said. No seats will be reserved.

One of the members of the 132nd National Guard Band is the mother of MHS band students and contacted the District about a possible performance, Schneider said. Sergeant First Class and unit administrator Robert Brent Wells said the unit was drilling on that weekend and we was going to be in Madison so a concert made sense.

The performance will last 90 minutes. Ninth-graders will play a couple of selections and the 132nd National Guard Band will play after that, Wells said.

The 132nd Army Band is comprised of nearly 50 part-time musician soldiers, Wells said. None of the current band members went to MCPASD schools, although a female saxophone player resides in Middleton, Wells said. Typically, the band meets one weekend per month and performs a two-week performance tour around Wisconsin.

Members of the band range in age from late teens to late 50s. Many of them are professional musicians or music educators, while others hold a variety of other professions. Some joined while in high school or college, while others are former active duty members of Army bands, Wells said.

In addition to marching in parades and performing military ceremonies, the 132nd Wisconsin National Guard has many other musical ensembles that perform for all types of events and audiences, both military and civilian.  These ensembles include a concert wind ensemble, jazz band and combo, brass quintets, saxophone ensemble, woodwind quintet, rock band, and country band. Wells said he plays in the country band, jazz ensemble and even the jzzz combo besides participating in parades and concerts.

"It's a very tight-knit group,'' he said. "We love what we do.''