Swingtime Big Band

Killeen's Swingtime Big Band performing at last year's Spirit of '45 celebration at Stoney Brook of Copperas Cove. Saturday's event is free and open to the public from 2 to 4 p.m.

Steve Pettit | Courtesy

The nation’s flag will fly high outside Saturday as an audience of all ages celebrates the Spirit of ’45 inside Stoney Brook of Copperas Cove.

It’s the third consecutive year that the upscale assisted living center will present the event, which is headlined by Killeen’s Swingtime Big Band. “We’ll perform selections as recorded by Glenn Miller, Harry James, Benny Goodman,” said Les Young, pianist for the group. “Since it’s our third year to play at Spirit of ’45, we know which tunes our audience likes best.”

The Stoney Brook event is affiliated with the national nonprofit Spirit of ’45 program, a recognition of the “greatest generation” and their patriotism, sacrifices and determination in the WWII era.

“The public is invited,” said Stoney Brook marketing director Angea Carroll, “and the Copperas Cove High School ROTC will present a color guard salute to the flag, Copperas Cove Mayor John Hull will read a proclamation, and Swingtime Big Band will play a two-hour concert.”

Vintage photographs from the 1940s will be on display. Red, white and blue bunting and decorations will contribute to the festive atmosphere, Carroll said.

“Our Spirit of ’45 is free to all, with no reservations needed. We’ll also serve complimentary sparkling punch, other beverages and appetizers,” she said.

“It’s really a party with a great live band playing music from those years.”

Though Stoney Brook is a senior assisted living center, the turnout for Spirit of ’45 spans all age groups, according to Swingtime trumpeter Ed Hernandez.

“We’ve had little kids join us on the bandstand,” he said.

“They just want to dance, and at Stoney Brook there’s enough room. This is great American music, and it’s exciting and infectious.”

Besides instrumental selections like “In The Mood,” “Star Dust” and “You Made Me Love You,” the band’s singer, Ashley Hill, will perform several musical numbers.

“Ashley’s been with us for more than a year now,” Young said. “She’s an outstanding vocalist and connects immediately with all audiences.”

Stoney Brook has 60 private senior apartments. The facility will be open for tours during Saturday’s event.

“We’re very fortunate,” Carroll said. “The men and women of the greatest generation is what the Spirit of ’45 is all about. We can never repay them and should never forget them.”

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