Free outdoor concerts from military bands scheduled for Fort Eustis, Fort Monroe

In Sunday's Daily Press we rounded up many of the area's regular, weekly free concert events. The scope of story didn't include the wealth of military concerts that take place on the Peninsula through the summer months.

Thanks to the region's concentration of armed forces, Hampton Roads is blessed with an abundance of professional musical talent. Once the warm weather gets here for good, that talent will fly its colors each week -- for free.

In June, a pair of dueling, Thursday-night events will crank up, one at Fort Eustis, another at Fort Monroe.

The Eustis series, "Music Under the Stars" was previously held at Fort Monroe. It has been moved to Magnolia Park at Fort Eustis. It features U.S. Army TRADOC Band and kicks off June 7. Those series end with a bang on Aug. 30 when the group will play “Overture 1812.”

The Monroe series, held at Continental Park's gazebo, will host bands including the USAF Blue Aces Popular Music Ensemble, different configurations of the U.S. Fleet Forces Band as well as the USAF Heritage Brass Band, among others. The series will end with a special appearance by the Virginia Symphony kicking off Labor Day weekend on Aug. 31.

Below you'll see press releases about both sets of concerts.




Fort Eustis Gains Historic “Music Under the Stars” Concert Series



This summer, Fort Eustis proudly hosts the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command’s (TRADOC) historic “Music Under the Stars” concert series, presented by the U.S. Army TRADOC Band. The 80-year-old institution is the longest running concert series in Hampton Roads, and traces its roots back to outdoor concerts performed in 1932. Performances take place at Fort Eustis every Thursday evening, June through August, and include patriotic music, marches, rock, salsa, country, jazz, and Americana. The “Overture 1812,” complete with cannons, closes the season.


Last year, the TRADOC Band moved to Fort Eustis and secured the picturesque Magnolia Park, which overlooks the James River. Beginning June 7, 2012, at 7:00 p.m., patrons can experience the spectacle of “Music Under the Stars” on Fort Eustis as the TRADOC Band presents its 80th season. “Music Under the Stars” concerts are always free and open to the public.


“Fort Eustis is the new home of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, and the new home to our very popular ‘Music Under The Stars’ series,” said Gen. Robert W. Cone, TRADOC Commanding General. “We look forward to seeing all of our great neighbors—from Hampton Roads to Williamsburg and beyond—at our Thursday night concerts.”


“This is an exciting transition for the Band,” said Maj. Scott McKenzie, commander and conductor of the TRADOC Band. “Magnolia Park is a beautiful site featuring abundant shade and an excellent family atmosphere, and patrons are welcome to bring picnic dinners and lawn chairs. We expect many new listeners from Williamsburg and Yorktown, and look forward to seeing some old friends, our devoted audience from Fort Monroe.”


Concert goers who do not have a Department of Defense identification card should arrive early with photo identification and proof of auto insurance and registration to secure a day pass. To learn more about the concerts, or to sign up for the TRADOC Band’s newsletter and concert announcements, visit, or call 757-501-6944.



June 7: “80th Season Opener”

June 14: “Army Birthday Celebration”

June 21: “A Night in New Orleans”

June 28: “For Children of all Ages”

July 5: “Passing the Guidon”

July 12: 202nd Army National Guard Concert Band

July 19: 202nd Army National Guard Rock Band

July 26: “A Little Night Music”

August 2: “Land That I Love”

August 9: “Jazz Side of the Moon”

August 16: “Tropical Rhythm”

August 23: “This is Country Music”

August 30: “Overture 1812” (Rain date for this concert is September 6, 2012)





U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Band, U.S. Fleet Forces Band, Federal City Brass Band and the Virginia Symphony offer Music and Fun for the Entire Family Starting in June at Fort Monroe.


FORT MONROE, VA – The Fort Monroe Authority will launch its newly named Music by the Bay at Fort Monroe Summer Concert Series.  The performances will take place at the Gazebo at Continental Park featuring several outstanding regional military bands each Thursday evening beginning June 14, 2012 at 7 p.m. (except for the Virginia Symphony concert finale which will be held on Friday, August 31st  beginning at 7:30 p.m.)  All concerts are free and open to the public. The lineup includes:


 Fort Monroe Music by the Bay

2012 Summer Concert Series Schedule


Concert Name




June 14, 2012

Summer Concert Series

Continental Park

U.S. Fleet Forces Band-Wind Ensemble


June 21, 2012

Summer Concert Series

Continental Park

Federal City Brass Band


June 28, 2012

Summer Concert Series

Continental Park

USAF Blue Aces Popular Music Ensemble 

July 5, 2012

Summer Concert Series

Continental Park

U.S. Fleet Forces Band  - Wind Ensemble

July 12, 2012

Summer Concert Series

Continental Park

U.S. Fleet Forces Band  -Four Star Edition Rock Band

July 19, 2012

Summer Concert Series

Continental Park

USAF Blue Aces Popular Music Ensemble  

July 26, 2012

Summer Concert Series

Continental Park

U.S. Fleet Forces Band  -  Show Band

August 2, 2012

Summer Concert Series

Continental Park

USAF Heritage Brass Band


August 9, 2012

Summer Concert Series

Continental Park

USAF Heritage Ramblers Dixie Ensemble 


August 16, 2012

Summer Concert Series

Continental Park

USAF Rhythm in Blue Jazz Ensemble 

August 23, 2012

Summer Concert Series

Continental Park

U.S. Fleet Forces Band  -  Wind Ensemble

August 31, 2012

Labor Day Concert

Continental Park

Virginia Symphony – Friday, August 31, 2012 at 7:30pm.



“The military summer concert series was a very popular tradition at Fort Monroe and the FMA is extremely proud to be able to continue that tradition by partnering with the military bands in our region” says Glenn Oder, Executive Director of the Fort Monroe Authority.  “We encourage everyone to visit Fort Monroe and enjoy this one-of-a-kind venue on the bay”, says Oder.  The summer concert series at Continental Park offers people amazing music, at a historic and beautiful location for free. This new series will attract audiences from across the region and continues a 70-year history of concerts held at Fort Monroe, while it was an active Army base.  Mr. Oder added, “We're also extremely excited to announce the Virginia Symphony Orchestra will play at Fort Monroe for the first time to wrap up the concert series on August 31st.  The Symphony’s performance will be the concert series’ grand finale rounding out the Fort Monroe tradition of ending the concert series with Tchaikovsky’s "Overture of 1812”.


About the Bands performing this summer:

The Federal City Brass Band, founded in 2002 by Jari Villanueva and Mark Elrod, recreates the sound and appearance of a regularU.S. Army regimental brass band of the 1860s. With the exception of some reproduction rope-tension drums, all of the instruments used by The Federal City Brass Band are originals dating to the mid-19th century, and come from the collections of band members and from the Mark A. Elrod Collection. The sources of the music the band plays include original band journals and sheet music of the Civil War era.

The U.S. Fleet Forces Band is the musical representative for the Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, and is the largest of the Navy's 11 Fleet Bands.  Established in 1945, this unit provides musical support for ships, military bases, foreign dignitaries, and many community relations events. The band, under the direction of Lieutenant Commander Bruce A. McDonald, is fortunate to be staffed by some of the Navy's finest and most talented musicians.  The U. S. Fleet Forces Band is comprised of 60 Navy musicians that perform in a variety of ensembles, including the Wind Ensemble, Ceremonial Band, Fleet Jazz Ensemble, the rock band “Four Star Edition,” along with a variety of chamber music ensembles.

The United States Air Force Heritage of America Band has a rich history of inspiring hearts and minds, building and sustaining American patriotism, and enhancing esprit de corps in the United States Air Force. It was one of the original Army Air Corps bands, created by order of the Secretary of War on October 1, 1941 and assigned to Barksdale Field, Louisiana. In June 1946, after a short stay at Brooks Field, Texas, the band arrived at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, its current home. The band's 45 men and women are assigned to two primary ensembles: the USAF Heritage of America Concert Band and the Blue Aces popular music ensemble. The concert band breaks down into five smaller touring groups: the Heritage Brass Quintet, the

Langley Winds woodwind ensemble, Rhythm in Blue jazz ensemble, and our newest Dixie-style ensemble Heritage Ramblers.

The Virginia Symphony has enriched the communities of Hampton Roads for 90 years, offering more than 140 classical, pops, family, educational, and outreach concerts each season, including orchestral support of the Virginia Opera and the Virginia Arts Festival.  Under Grammy Award-Winning Music Director JoAnne Falletta's leadership, the orchestra has risen to new artistic heights. In August 2000, the Virginia Symphony was accepted into the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians, officially entering the “major league” of symphony orchestras. VSO concerts are performed throughout Hampton Roads and the Commonwealth.


Sponsorship opportunities are still available.  The lineup and schedule are subject to change.


For more information, contact Phyllis Terrell, 757-251-2754 or




The Fort Monroe Authority is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Fort Monroe is a federal military reservation and a National Historic Landmark (NHL) District located in Fort Monroe, Virginia. Fort Monroe was closed as a military facility on September 15, 2011 in accordance with the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission.  


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