The Heartland of America Band from Offutt Air Force Base is bringing some special holiday music to Glenwood next month.
Through the joint sponsorship of The Opinion-Tribune newspaper and the Glenwood Community School District, the Air Force band will present its “New Traditions” holiday concert at the Glenwood Community High School Performing Arts Center on Sunday, Dec. 8, at 2 p.m.
Free tickets for the public concert will be available on a first-come basis beginning Friday, Nov. 15, at The Opinion-Tribune office, Glenwood State Bank and First National Bank. Ticket distribution will be limited to four per request. Seating for the concert will be general admission and ticket holders will be required to be seated 10 minutes prior to the start of the performance.
From 1987 to 2012, the Heartland of America Band performed a series of holiday concerts in Omaha, most recently at the Holland Performing Arts Center. However, cuts to the Pentagon’s music budget mandated in federal budget sequestration legislation prohibits branches of the military from spending money on community outreach events, like musical concerts.
As a replacement to the holiday concerts in downtown Omaha, the band is performing a series of holiday concerts this year at high school auditoriums in the metropolitan area. The Glenwood concert will be the band’s lone performance in Iowa. Performances are also planned in the Nebraska communities of Bellevue, Gretna and Papillion.
Davies Amphitheater manager Gordon Woodrow, who also schedules and coordinates events in the high school performing arts center, said he believes Glenwood’s proximity to Offutt Air Force Base and the band’s long-standing relationship with the amphitheater were among the factors that played in Glenwood’s favor for landing one of the concerts.
“I think it’s a feather in our cap that they would select Glenwood as the only place in Iowa to perform their holiday concert,” Woodrow said. “Of course, they really like our new facility at the high school.”
Opinion-Tribune editor Joe Foreman said the newspaper is pleased to be a partner in bringing the concert to Glenwood.
“The Heartland of America Band is well-known throughout the region and Glenwood is a community that has a great appreciation for the men and women serving our country in the military,” Foreman said. “The date of the concert ties in well with Glenwood’s Home For The Holidays celebration.”
Doug Roe, Heartland of America Band’s director of operations, said military bands in the United States have a long history and continue to serve as a public relations tool for all branches of the service. Roe said the band is disappointed to be ending its 26-year run of holiday concerts in Omaha, but is looking forward to performing in the new venues during the holiday season.