Pearl Harbor Survivor to Direct ‘Mass Band Performance’ on 70th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor
Live webcast planned as hundreds of student-musicians blanket Mighty Mo’s pier
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (Nov. 29, 2011) — To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Battleship Missouri Memorial will proudly host a mass band performance featuring more than 650 performers from a dozen high school, college and community bands jointly performing patriotic favorites, all under the direction of Pearl Harbor survivor Allen Bodenlos.
The 70th Anniversary Pearl Harbor Mass Band performance will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 7, from noon to 12:45 p.m., pierside at the Missouri. Located a ship’s length from the USS Arizona Memorial, the Battleship Missouri Memorial completes a historical visitor experience that begins in Pearl Harbor on the “date that will live in infamy” and ends on the USS Missouri (BB-63) on Sept. 2, 1945, with the formal WWII surrender.
The event will be webcast live at www.channel808.tv.
From sea to shining sea, the bands are currently fundraising to complete their treks to Pearl Harbor. Joint musical performances will include “The Star Spangled Banner,” “Salute to America’s Finest,” “Amazing Grace,” “In Defense of Liberty” and “Stars and Stripes Forever.” In addition, the Kilgore College Rangerettes will provide a special featured performance of “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy.”
The idea for the mass performance originated with a casual remark by Bodenlos about how powerful student performances are in the context of Pearl Harbor. The area is home to several historic sites — including the USS Arizona Memorial, USS Oklahoma Memorial, USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, and Battleship Missouri Memorial — while remaining an active military base, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
The Battleship Missouri Memorial regularly hosts band performances, but the mass performance on Dec. 7 will be unique because of the number of bands involved. The current list of participating bands includes:
- Acadiana High School Band from Lafayette, Louisiana
- Downriver Community Band from Wyandotte, Michigan
- Lakeview Centennial High School Band from Garland, Texas
- Lathrop High School Band from Fairbanks, Alaska
- Kilgore College Rangerettes from Kilgore, Texas
- New Philadelphia High School Marching Quaker Band from New Philadelphia, Ohio
- North Vermillion High School Band from Maurice, Louisiana
- Payson Longhorn Marching Band from Pine, Arizona
- Pride of Erath High School Band from Erath, Louisiana
- Ripley Junior Senior High School Band from Ripley, Oklahoma
- Riverview High School Band from Sarasota, Florida
- Sussex Technical High School Band from Georgetown, Delaware
“Sharing the legacy of our veterans with younger generations is part of our mission at the Battleship Missouri Memorial,” said Michael A. Carr, the memorial’s president and chief operating officer. “It is therefore our pleasure to welcome these fine bands from across the United States as they perform in honor of Pearl Harbor veterans in the presence of the USS Arizona Memorial and Battleship Missouri Memorial, symbolic bookends that represent America’s role in World War II, from tragedy to victory.”
Band members will begin arriving at 8:45 a.m. to tour the Missouri and take group photos. At 11:30 a.m., guest of honor Bodenlos will arrive escorted by the Rangerettes, as other groups line up on the pier. Performances under Bodenlos’ direction will begin at noon sharp.
The attack of Dec. 7, 1941, is forever etched in history and the hearts of Americans. The number of American casualties that day totaled more than 2,300 sailors, soldiers and civilians. Among the personal items retrieved from the USS Oklahoma, capsized in the attack, were Christmas presents. This among may other facts about the days before Dec. 7 illustrate how quickly the world changed. Pearl Harbor was not the only military installation on Oahu to suffer varying degrees of damage and deaths. Schofield Barracks and Hickam, Wheeler and Bellows Airfields also suffered great losses. The attack ultimately resulted in the United States’ entry into World War II, which would become history’s most devastating war. WWII ended nearly four years later with Imperial Japan’s formal surrender on Sept. 2, 1945, aboard the USS Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay.
The Battleship Missouri Memorial is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Shuttle buses provide roundtrip transportation from the new Pearl Harbor Visitor Center during operating hours. Standard admission, which includes choice of a guided tour, is $20 per adult and $10 per child 4-12. For more information or to reserve a tour, call 973-2494 on Oahu, toll-free at 1-877-MIGHTYMO (1-877-644-4896) or visit www.ussmissouri.org.
Bands interested in the Battleship Missouri Memorial’s band program should contact Ms. Bobi Baclaan at BobiB@ussmissouri.org or (808) 455-1600 ext. 247.
Following an astounding career that spans five decades and three wars — from World War II to the Korean conflict to the Liberation of Kuwait — the battleship USS Missouri (BB-63), nicknamed “Mighty Mo,” was decommissioned and donated by the U.S. Navy to the USS Missouri Memorial Association, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The association brought the ship to Pearl Harbor and, in 1999, opened the Battleship Missouri Memorial to visitor tours. The association continues to oversee her care and preservation with the support of visitors, memberships, grants and the generosity of donors.
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