ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Ultimate Brasstacular is set for Sunday, July 28 from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Greece American Legion Post 468 on Dorsey Road.
Proceeds will benefit Honor Flight Rochester.
Organizer Tom Allen and Honor Flight Rochester President & CEO Rich Stewart discussed the annual music event and its impact Tuesday during News 8 at Noon.
“We’ve been running it for many years and this is our fifth year doing it as a tent music festival,” said Allen. “One of the big things about this year that’s different from the other years is the range of the ages of the musicians and the styles. We have musicians from literally six years old to 96-year-old Harmonica Pete and music styles from patriotic marches to big band music, to Trombone Shorty, and it all ends with an hour and a half set by Rochester’s blues legends The Coupe De’Villes.”
Stewart said the all-day music event, which also includes a special appearance by the Honor Flight Dolls, has been a game-changer for the non-profit which takes veterans to their memorials in Washington, D.C. “In the very earliest missions for Honor Flight, we didn’t number them and each next mission was wishful thinking, and then we met Tom Allen,” he said. “Tom brought his brass band associates with him at a fundraiser, and that was in the summer of 2009. I think it was probably mission 2 or 3, maybe? And Tom really unlocked the generosity of the Rochester community.”
Each Honor Flight culminates with a celebration at the Greater Rochester International Airport. “It’s that long-delayed thank you that takes the breath away from people who are not even family members to see those most senior veterans get the respect and affection they so much deserve,” Stewart said. “Also for those veterans, and even the ones with the stoniest face, most stoic, sometimes over that weekend, they’ll open up a little bit. There might be a little bit of moisture in the corner of the eye. A lot of the times it’s at the memorials that were built and dedicated to their service.”
Allen is dedicated to supporting Honor Flight Rochester but is quick to deflect credit for his role in helping the missions take flight. “It isn’t just about me,” he said. “The fact that I come from the drum and bugle corps community in Rochester – it has such a rich tradition and it’s a big family, and a sub-culture, a lot of us who are in that, our father’s were veterans. So much of that comes from the veteran community. So many of the musicians who participate they know that that’s their father too. For my case, my father didn’t live long enough to see all of this stuff. He would think this is really neat. But all of these families come together because they know these vets, they know guys just like them and they want to do anything they can to help. All of the proceeds go to get the veterans off the waiting list and onto the plane.”
In addition to the great lineup of music, there will be food, drinks, raffles, and baskets.
Tickets for The Ultimate Brasstacular are $12 per person, $40 per family of four and FREE for Honor Flight veterans.
For tickets and concert information visit this website.
For more information about Honor Flight Rochester visit this website.