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September 6, 2011

USAF Heritage of America and USA Training and Doctrine Command Bands, Colonial Williamsburg’s Fifes and Drums Present “To Support and Defend”

Merchants Square and Colonial Williamsburg celebrate the founding of the U.S. Constitution with “To Support and Defend,” the third annual event featuring the combined USAF Heritage of America and USA Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Bands at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17 on Duke of Gloucester Street in Merchants Square. Through powerful, moving music and the spoken word, the framework of our nation’s government and cherished founding document will be honored on the anniversary of its adoption.

This special Constitution Day event will feature a combined ensemble composed of members of the USAF Heritage of America Band and the USA Training and Doctrine Command Band. Both units are stationed in the Hampton Roads region, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis,Va. In addition, the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums will be featured–bridging more than two centuries of musical performance practice. Selections by the Fifes and Drums, along with band works by eminent American composers Morton Gould, John Williams and John Philip Sousa, also will be performed.

The program also features guest narrators including Colonial Williamsburg interpreters Ron Carnegie as George Washington, Stephen Moore as James Madison and Raymond Jones of WHRO.

“To Support and Defend” is presented free and open to the general public. Audience members are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets. For current information about this free event, go to the Merchants Square website at or call the Merchants Square Events Hotline at (757) 565-8889. In the event of inclement weather, the rain date will be Sunday, Sept. 18. If poor weather conditions prohibit holding the event outdoors on Sept. 18, the event will be moved to the auditorium of Warhill High School on Sept. 18.

The Heritage of America Band has a proud tradition of entertaining the American public and promoting esprit de corps within the military. Stationed at Langley Air Force Base, the unit strives to inspire our men and women serving around the world and to tell the Air Force story through the power of music. Consisting of several musical ensembles, the Heritage of America Band performs for more than one million people throughout a six-state region from Pennsylvania to South Carolina each year.

The TRADOC Band represents the dramatic evolution of Army bands since the first recorded American military organization was formed – a fife and drum corps of Ethan Allen’s “Green Mountain Boys” in 1775. The band’s many diverse groups provide musical support to the soldiers and civilians of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command as well as to the citizens of the mid-Atlantic region. A two-time winner of the Col. George S. Howard Citation of Excellence Award and recipient of the Army Superior Unit Award, the TRADOC Band sets the standard for bands in the 21st century.

Merchants Square, the shopping and dining district adjacent to Colonial Williamsburg’s renowned Historic Area, is home to more than 40 shops and restaurants. Most of the stores and all of the restaurants are locally owned and operated. Locally owned specialty boutiques offer products ranging from ladies, men’s and children’s apparel to fine jewelry, art, specialty foods and gifts.

In 2005 Merchants Square was added to the National Register of Historic Places along with the Williamsburg Lodge and the Williamsburg Inn to make up the Merchants Square and Resort Historic District. In 2009 the American Planning Association named Duke of Gloucester Street in Merchants Square one of America’s Top 10 Great Streets.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121