Press Release

Gov. Jim Douglas joins the St. Johnsbury Band to honor veterans

St. Johnsbury, Vt. – Join former Governor Jim Douglas and the St. Johnsbury Band at United Community Church Saturday, Nov. 11, at 6:30 p.m. to honor American veterans from the nation’s military conflicts. Veterans are encouraged to attend in uniform to be recognized for their service and sing along when their anthems are played.

Gov. Douglas makes this special appearance, his second time conducting the band, not only to thank local veterans for their selfless service to their country, but also to direct two special pieces of music recently discovered in the band’s archives: “The Enchantress” and “The Admiral Dewey March.”

Admiral George Dewey, born in Montpelier., Vt., in 1837, was responsible for the American victory at Manila Bay in 1898, during the Spanish-American war, with the loss of only a single U.S. life. His naval career is remarkable for many reasons, not least of which is the fact that he is the only person named Admiral of the Navy. Admiral of the Navy is considered to be equivalent to a five-star admiral, and none other have ever been so named. The march in his name was composed in 1898 to celebrate his Manila Bay victory.

The band is indebted to the Marine Corps Band for sharing the music for the “Admiral Dewey March” that will be played at this concert.

The other piece that Governor Douglas will conduct is titled “The Enchantress.” This piece is notable for its provenance. It hails from the era when the nation was establishing its place in the world, when President Teddy Roosevelt in December of 1907 sent the 16 gleaming white and gilt battleships of the Great White Fleet on an around-the-world cruise to demonstrate the potential of the U.S. Naval Forces. At the time, Japan had recently defeated Russia, and Roosevelt was concerned that the U.S. could be underestimated and put at risk. Under the leadership of Captain William P. Potter of White Plains, N.Y., the U.S.S. Vermont was among the first division of this stunning show of naval power.

We know the piece sailed with the U.S.S. Vermont and the ship’s band, because it is stamped with the ship’s seal. It is likely the only such piece in existence.

It is because of “The Enchantress,” the “Admiral Dewey March” and others like them that the band is undertaking the formidable job of digitizing its extensive library, which dates back over 100 years. Many of these compositions are irreplaceable at any price and difficult to insure but could be reprinted from digital files.

This concert is by donation and will benefit the St. Johnsbury History & Heritage Center. for more information.

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