Area residents grabbed their blankets and headed to Green-Wood Cemetery for the 18th annual Memorial Day Concert on Monday, May 30.
The Green-wood Historic Fund hosted the free, annual event to commemorate the veterans who have lost their lives fighting for their country. Under the shade of Green-Wood’s century-old trees, neighbors and locals were able to listen to music and enjoy the festivities.
Richard Moylan, president of Green-Wood Cemetery, said he was honored to hold the concert, now in its 18th year.
“Commemorating the men and women who served our country in the armed forces, defending our democracy, is a great honor for Green-Wood. This annual concert is an event that means a great deal to us and, we believe, to the community as well,” said Moylan.
Along with featured guest singer Ryan Silverman, who is currently on Broadway playing in the musical “Chicago,” the ISO Symphonic Band, which is composed of talented student musicians from the New York metro area, played for the ninth year at the event. Founder and conductor of the symphonic band, Brian Worsdale, was happy to carry on the tradition with his students.
“It’s such a great experience for the students to play in front of such a large audience. It’s not something they do every day,” said Worsdale, a Brooklynite, who has many family members buried at Green-Wood. Since 2008, the band has been playing patriotic favorites, such as “America the Beautiful” and the “Armed Force Salute” to reflect the theme of the concert.
The performance was a way for the band and Worsdale to give back to a community that has given them so much.
“The students had a five-hour rehearsal on Sunday to prepare for the concert, despite the unknown weather forecast for the following day. It was their concert, and it was a great opportunity to play the music they prepared so extensively for the Memorial Day celebration,” said Worsdale.
Some of the other songs the band played included “Something’s Coming” and “Maria” from “West Side Story,” and “New York, New York” by John Kander and Fred Ebb, both of whom are buried at Green-Wood as is Leonard Bernstein, the composer of “West Side Story.”
Although the concert was only a few hours, Moylan hopes that attendees will carry on honoring those veterans who have lost their lives even after the celebration is over.
“While we pay special tribute to our vets on Memorial Day, we join with our fellow Brooklynites in honoring their sacrifices every day of the year,” said Moylan.