BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — The region’s premier musical ensemble — the East River Mountain Town Band — performed its “Patriotic Salute to America and her Veterans” Sunday afternoon to an adoring audience in the Bluefield Performing Arts Center at Bluefield High School.
“It really is an exceptional band,” Command Sgt. Major James Baylor said during intermission at the performance. Baylor is senior instructor of the BHS Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps. “We were here to post colors for the performance. It really is a patriotic performance.”
Mel Saunders, founder & conductor of the band created a comfortable rapport with the audience through the performance.
“Are there any World War II veterans in the audience?” Saunders asked. Nine or 10 men came to their feet in response. Saunders then asked if any of the other audience members were alive during World War II, and many more audience members stood.
The band performed a medley of instrumental versions of popular songs of the era, starting with “I’ll be seeing you.” Several people in the audience sang the lyrics as the band played on…