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Military concert band to perform Friday

SUWANEE - If you're part of a military concert band, there's one thing people are going to expect you to play.

"Mostly, everybody expects a march out of a military band. Everybody expects that for sure," said Master Sgt. James Verrelli, director of operations for the Band of the Air Force Reserve.

Verrelli should know - he plays the trumpet in the 43-piece Band of the Air Force Reserve's Concert Band, which will kick off Memorial Day weekend with a free performance Friday evening at Town Center Park in Suwanee.

But those who expect the concert to be nothing but military music should change their tune. The Concert Band's repertoire includes everything from classical overtures to Broadway songs and movie themes.

The 90-minute show, which begins at 7:30 p.m. following a military parachuting demonstration, will open with the national anthem and move into an array of toe-tapping tunes.

The audience "can expect a great show," Verrelli said. "We have a little something for everybody. ... We try to cover the whole gamut."

The Concert Band performed at Town Center for the first time last year, and members were pleased by the crowd's enthusiastic response, Verrelli said.

"I think we're very appreciative of the music," said Lynne DeWilde, Suwanee spokeswoman, "and appreciative of them sharing their time and talent with us on Memorial Day weekend."

Attendees can bring chairs, blankets and picnics to the event, but no alcohol is allowed. There will be food available for purchase. Off-site parking and a free shuttle to Town Center Park will be available beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Shadowbrook Baptist Church, 4187 Suwanee Dam Road.

For more information on the concert, which is co-sponsored by the Gwinnett Daily Post and Operation One Voice, call 770-963-9205, ext. 1316.

For more on the Band of the Air Force Reserve, visit www.band.afrc.af.mil.