The collective chorus of many instruments could be heard echoing through the lofty auditorium at Killeen High School on Sunday afternoon.
The Heights Concert Band hosted A Patriotic Celebration concert in honor of Independence Day.
The 63-member adult ensemble captured the spirit of the Fourth with their performance of American classics including “The Star Spangled Banner” and “America, the Beautiful.”
“The band is made up of some teenagers that may excel and are recommended by teachers, as well as some directors and military members,” cornet player and veteran Jennifer Fitzgerald said. “We are going to do the best job we can to instill patriotism in the community.”
The free concert drew a large crowd that nearly filled the venue with audience members of all ages and backgrounds.
One audience member, Klassje Moffatt, was there to support her husband who plays the French horn in the band.
“This is very important to our community since we have the military here,” Moffatt said.
Band Director Randy Kelley said he hoped there were many members of the military present at the “God and Country” style concert.
“We’re hoping to show them the respect and appreciation we have for their service, whether it was in the past or now,” said Kelley, who took leadership when the band’s founder and his close friend, Carlton Morris, died in 2017.
The Heights Concert band, sponsored by the Band Room, has been putting on shows for the past 40 years, said baritone saxophone player and Killeen High School graduate Arthur Murphy II.
“We’re just going to get out there and leave it all on the stage,” he said.
The concert also featured pieces by euphonium soloist Ken C. Wood, along with the premieres of some original compositions like “Forever Strong.”
Beyond helping the local community to celebrate Independence Day, Kelley said he hoped the performance would draw in a following for the band.
“This is our first solo concert where it’s just us,” Kelley said. “We have started some new traditions and opened up a lot of opportunities.”
The Height Concert Band website is currently under construction, Kelley said, but those interested in more information or future performances may call 254-699-BAND.