West 8th Grade Band students are giving some very special people a unique and kind gift. 

West Middle Schools Mascot

West Middle Schools Mascot

Mrs. Martha Farmer, WMS Band Director

Each year the 8th Grade Band salutes our Veterans in a thrilling musical salute.  The traditional fall band concert invites veterans to attend and stand up to be recognized as the 8th graders play their respective marches.  It is a truly wonderful and generous way to pay tribute to the veterans.  The crowd explodes with applause for these heroes as they stand.

This year we cannot offer any in-person concerts so the 8th Grade Band is producing a virtual performance of this music for youtube.  This performance will be presented as a Veterans’ Day gift to the patients and staff at the Ann Arbor VA Hospital.  These patients are from all various battles through the past 80 years, including those from WWII.  Many, sadly. have been hospitalized since their discharge years ago.  And all of them have been without any visitors since the COVID shut down last March.  

This Youtube performance will include many slides submitted by the band students illustrating the place of military bands in military life as well as celebrated moments in military history to show gratitude to the patients.  Also featured is a poem of thanks which will be shared by one of the students, staff, and administrators.  Each band student has taken extra time to write a thank-you note to the hospitalized veterans as well.

This project is part of the curriculum for band.  The students have learned the profound meaning of these musical selections to soldiers and the place military bands hold in our culture.

Special thanks go to assisting staff members Mrs. Van Eeuwen, Mr. Smiley, and Mrs. Swift.

I am proud of the 8th Grade band students for meeting this very difficult musical challenge and giving so much gratitude to those who need it most.