CHESTERTOWN — The Eastern Shore Wind Ensemble begins its 2019-2020 season with a Sunday, Nov. 3, concert, titled “Red, White, and Blue,” that celebrates the American spirit.

Music Director Charles Thai, music teacher in Kent County Public Schools, will conduct this free program at 4 p.m. in Emmanuel Episcopal Church at Cross and High streets, Chestertown.

The church is handicapped-accessible via the ramp and automatic doors on the courthouse-green side of the building.

The program is bookended by rousing marches. John Philip Sousa’s “Hands Across the Sea” is a patriotic and idealistic march written in 1899, shortly after the Spanish-American War. Like Sousa, Karl L. King was a longtime bandmaster and a prolific composer of marches and other works for band. His “Allied Honor” march dates from 1955, the 10-year anniversary of the end of World War II and two years after the Korean War, when there was relative peace in the world although the Allies’ Cold War with the Soviet Union and its satellites would last decades longer.

The band will also play arrangements of two American songbook classics, “America, the Beautiful” by David R. Gillingham and “Shenandoah” by Frank Ticheli, the latter one of the nation’s most recognizable folksong ballads. “O’er the Land of the Free” by Johnnie Vinson commemorates several important events in American history. “Tribute and Triumph” by David Schaffer, “Dedication and Festival” by Barry E. Kopetz, and “Ascending” by Larry Clark pay tribute to the memory of lost members and conductors of the bands that commissioned the works.

The Eastern Shore Wind Ensemble is an all-ages community concert band based in Chestertown. It was formed in 2001 to offer area wind and percussion musicians the opportunity to continue or return to the pleasures of playing quality music in a large ensemble. New members are always welcome, without audition or fee.

Weekly rehearsals for the band’s Dec. 15 concert begin on Monday, Nov. 4, a good time for new members to join. Rehearsals start promptly at 7 p.m. and run until 8:30 p.m. in the Washington College band room (no. 116) in Gibson Center for the Arts.

For more information, call 410-778-2829, email ESWEemail@yahoo.com, or go to facebook.com/EasternShoreWindEnsemble. The ensemble is supported by community donations and the Kent County Arts Council.

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