Music celebration for veterans

Ferris honored veterans over the weekend with various patriotic songs

Ferris and the surrounding community celebrated Veteran’s Day three days late with a concert this past Sunday. 

The Ferris State University West Central Concert Band performed their 18th annual Veteran’s Day Concert. The performance included multiple songs, including anthems from each of the branches of the military. The concert was one of the first indoor concerts since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. 

The FSU West Central Concert Band consists of both FSU students and members of the surrounding community. This season marks the 29th concert season the band has been a part of. This year’s Veteran’s Day concert featured speeches by Randy Cagle, the Dean of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Education; Dan Hoeh, a retired veteran; and students from FSU’s Student Veteran’s Association. 

“A few days ago, we observed the first Veteran’s Day in two decades without troops deployed in active combat,” Cagle said in his welcome address. “With great clarity, we can appreciate the service of our veterans that makes peace time possible.” 

During the concert, two quilts were given to veterans by the Quilts of Valor. The Quilts of Valor awards quilts to service members and veterans touched by war. Terri Cook from Old Jail Quilters of Big Rapids was the one to present the quilts. 

The event featured Dale Skornia, Associate Professor of Music and the FSU pep band conductor, and FSU President David Eisler as guest conductors. Eisler has been a guest conductor in 17 of the 18 Veteran’s Day concerts. 

“I think Ferris State University really appreciates Veterans,” President Eisler said after the event. “And I think we have a whole series of events that have recognized Veterans. I think what Scott Cohen does with the band is especially good because he’s effective at integrating the community.” 

The event was attended by approximately 100 individuals. During the performance of the anthems, veterans from each branch were invited to stand to be recognized for their service. 14 army veterans, two marine veterans, five air force veterans, and three navy veterans were recognized during the anthems. 

The next concert will be held on Nov 21 at 4 pm. It will take place in William’s auditorium and features the FSU West Central Chamber Orchestra.