SLV Big Band’s annual Veteran’s Day Concert set for Nov. 11


ALAMOSA — The San Luis Valley Big Band will be performing a Veteran’s Day Concert at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11, inside the Ortega Middle School Auditorium in Alamosa. Everyone is invited to attend this family-friendly event that is entitled “In Their Honor.”

The event is free, but donations will be taken. Donations will go toward music that the band may purchase or to purchase rhythm instruments for the band.

“This is a great event. We are inviting everyone out, grandmas, grandpas, bring the kids,” said SLV Big Band member Loren Buss. “If anyone knows of a Veteran that may not be able to drive themselves or doesn’t have a ride or something, maybe you can offer to bring them down and be there with us.”

Buss said the concert has been going since 2006.

“It’s been quite a run for us to do that. One year, we didn’t have the concert, but that was due to COVID. I got sick about two weeks right before,” Buss said with a chuckle, “but other than that we have had this as an annual event every year.”

Buss said that even when the weather does not cooperate, they still have a good turnout.

“The Valley, the community at large, supports the event,” he said. “I think some of the Veterans really look forward to it each year. The recognition that that those Veterans get when they realize that some of us appreciate their service to country, is always great, too.”

Buss said a lot of Veterans come every year to the concert.

“The World War II Veterans are getting to be few and far between now, but the Korea and obviously Vietnam and Gulf War Veterans they are still a prominent part of the crowd,” he said.

Buss said the band’s members are committed to the band and practicing.

“The band has 17 players and the director, so a total of 18 in the band,” Buss said. “To get that many people on the same page, and we rehearse every Monday night. This is not a short-term project. If you sign on to be a part of the band, it is every Monday night from 7 to 9 p.m. The band tries to maintain their level of performance too and improve. It’s quite a personal commitment for a lot of people who have families and jobs, and kids at home. This is quite a commitment in their life to have every Monday night available for us.”

Buss said that the band will play patriotic music at the concert.

“We do have some patriotic tunes that we do. We also have an Armed Forces Medley that is the service song of each service group. The arrangement that we have written for us is about 10 or 12 years old. The Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, they are all represented with their branch song that we do. We also ask during the time that we play, that when the Veterans hear their Branch Song, being played, that the Veterans stand up, so that they can be recognized,” he said.

Buss said he is excited about the upcoming event. He is proud of the SLV Big Band and what they do.

Buss thanked the Alamosa Live Music Association (ALMA) for the different forms of support they give.

“Recently the San Luis Valley Big Band also opened for the Glenn Miller Orchestra in Alamosa,” Buss said. “This was a once-in-a-lifetime event for the Valley to be able to hear the Glenn Miller Orchestra. I want to thank ALMA for bringing them to the Valley. I want to thank Nancy Harris and the ALMA Board for allowing us to be an opening act for them. We are hoping to have everyone come out for the Veteran’s concert. One thing I do want to convey is that this concert is not for or about the band, this concert is for and about our Veteran’s. We are inviting the public to come and be a part of this recognition for these brave men and women.”