The U.S. Army Band performed Peter I. Tchaikovsky's Overture "1812" on Aug. 16, at Sylvan Theater at the Washington Monument Grounds. The event was hosted by Maj. Gen. Michael S. Linnington, commanding general Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region and Military District of Washington.
Each year The United States Army Band performs its big summer concert that concludes with the spirited Tchaikovsky's "Overture 1812" on the slope of the Washington Monument Grounds, complete with the cannons of The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) Presidential Salute Battery. A favorite among Washingtonians, the annual must-see musical extravaganza offers an enjoyable musical program of traditional band music with vocal highlights and Herald Trumpet fanfare. This performance is a highlight of the Washington, DC, outdoor music season.
The concert ended in grand fashion thanks to the Presidential Salute Battery, equipped with four three-inch, 5,775-pound, World War II vintage anti-tank guns, which fired 75mm blank shells with one-and-a-half pounds of gunpowder. A total of 23 shots were fired, including the final volley from all four cannons.
"Overture 1812" was composed for the 1880 Kremlin Square celebration honoring the Russian victory over the French Napoleon Bonaparte in 1812. Today the overture is revered among concert goers from its playful, mocking themes from the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, to the powerful finale with ringing church bells and booming cannons proclaiming victory!