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On Labor Day at 1 p.m. the Navy Band Great Lakes Wind Ensemble will be in concert at the Commodore Schoolyard after performing at three area locations.
The ensemble, a 45-piece concert band, performed in Perrysburg with the U.S. Marine Band last August. About 1,000 people attended that concert, but more are expected this year.
“This year I think we’ll get 5,000 to 10,000 people because once I got home, I heard from a lot of people that didn’t know about it and wanted to come,” said Navy Bandmaster Lt. Patrick Sweeten. “We do a lot of patriotism, lot of American and historical, moving programs, including from the War of 1812.”
The band is playing the free concert in celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie that was fought during the War of 1812. Lieutenant Sweeten said it is an honor to play in Perrysburg on the anniversary of the war and the battle.
“It is very special and extremely flattering and humbling,” he said. “We are not traveling as often, but this is a special production the Department of Defense thought was significant enough for us to attend because the Battle of Lake Erie is the reason we’re there. Commodore Oliver Perry led us in that war, and Perrysburg is named after him. This is a once-in-a-lifetime performance."
The band is also playing at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial in Put-in Bay; Saturday at 3 p.m. in Waterworks Park in Port Clinton, and 3 p.m. Sunday at Marblehead Lighthouse State Park in Marblehead.
Perrysburg reached out to the band, hoping it would perform in concert in the city again this year.
The mayor, administrator, public service director, and several others helped, but former Navy Capt. Doug Dariano, city engineer, was a major force in making this concert happen again.
“It will be a [history] lesson and really good, patriotic music," said Mr. Dariano, who spent more than 30 years with the Navy on active duty or in the reserve. “We are very, very appreciative to get the Navy Band here for Perrysburg; it is an honor.”
The honor is reciprocal, according to Lieutenant Sweeten. The Pride in Service has been the theme of the band for more than 102 years.
People will hear 45 professional musicians perform the finest music in the military today, Lieutenant Sweeten said.
“We will be celebrating our heritage and current active duty members like our musicians,” he said.