Columbia High School band members play with U.S. Army Band

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MAPLEWOOD, NJ — On Sunday, Sept. 2, seven members of the Columbia High School Honors Wind Ensemble had the honor of being invited to perform with the United States Army Field Band and Soldiers’ Chorus at a summer concert presented in Maplewood Memorial Park. The students were invited to perform “America the Beautiful” with the band, and in fact took the place of players from the band who left the stage to make room for the Columbia students to play within the ensemble.

“This was a tremendous honor for our students,” CHS Director of Bands Peter Bauer said. “To have the opportunity to play with a world-class ensemble is a memory that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. At this point in their careers it’s all about providing exciting and memorable experiences for all of our students.”

The concert was arranged through the efforts of Andrew Fishman and the Maplewood Office of Cultural Affairs, which had solicited the Army Band for several years before being awarded the concert this year.

In addition to playing with the ensemble, Columbia students had the opportunity to meet the conductor of the band, Col. Jim R. Keene, as well as other members of the band, who graciously gave of their time and expertise to prepare the students for the experience. A large and appreciative audience that had come to enjoy the beautiful weather and wonderful performance by the band cheered with thunderous applause at the conclusion of the student’s performance, making the experience even more memorable.

“We are grateful to everyone who had a hand in making this performance happen, and we look forward to hosting the next event with the Army Band in March of 2019,” Bauer said.

The United States Army Field Band, a corollary ensemble to the Field Band, will perform at Columbia High School on Friday, March 22; For more information, contact Bauer at

Photos Courtesy of Peter Bauer