The New York Guard (State Defense Force) Band recently assisted the New York Yankees in their development of a music video.
NY Guard Band Lends Hand to Bronx Bombers
DOVER PLAINS, NY, UNITED STATES
DOVER PLAINS, N.Y. – Ten members of the New York Guard Band are going to help the Bronx Bombers.
Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees invited the 89th New York Guard Band to produce a music video recording of the national anthem and “God Bless America” for display at future Yankee home games at their stadium in the Bronx.
The Yankees organization sought the video recording as a way to honor front-line military personnel supporting the COVID-19 pandemic response efforts.
The recording of the National Anthem and “God Bless America” was performed and recorded by the 89th New York Guard Band who volunteer with the New York Guard, the state volunteer force which augments and supports the New York National Guard with manpower and skills.
There are currently 88 New York Guard members currently serving on State Active Duty for the pandemic response, supporting New York National Guard vaccination sites, testing sites and medical supply warehousing across the state since March 2020.
Yankee Stadium in New York City is a state mass vaccination site, supporting thousands of New York residents with COVID-19 vaccines each day.
The recording session, hosted by Dover Plains High School on April 11, was the first in-person gathering of the band since the pandemic started in March 2020.
The recording would not have been possible without the support of Dover Plains High School Superintendent of Schools Mike Tierney, High School Principal Eugenia Angleis and faculty member and videographer Jack Zangerlem said Capt. Roy C. Coates, commander of the 89th Band.
Coates is on the teaching faculty of Dover Plains High School.
When presented with the opportunity to provide the video to the Yankees, Coates approached school district officials, who offered the use of their auditorium for the recording session.
The facility met COVID safety requirements, was provided at no cost and had the necessary video recording equipment and staff, Coates said.
Volunteer members of the current New York Guard 89th band were joined by retired band members, students and faculty musicians from the Dover Plains School District, including retired Vietnam Veteran and musician retired Maj. Tom Gorman and Marist College Band Director Joshua Long.
Band Members Sgt. Tatsuya Hondo and Spc. Russ Ebersole, both currently deployed on State Active Duty in support of pandemic response missions, joined the group for the recording.
“Creating music together over a year after reuniting is memorable,” Hondo said. “We honor those who are fighting the pandemic, those who have fought and many whose lives were lost.”
The group produced a video recording of Jari Villanueva’s arrangements of “The Star -Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America.”
Villanueva, a retired Air Force musician and arranger, is the former commander of the Maryland State Defense Force Band. He has been a guest musician with the 89th Band before and his arrangement met the Yankees needs perfectly, Coates said.
“It took many hours and a great deal of luck to bring all of the forces required to make this video,” Coates said. “It was an honor to lead this talented group of musicians for the video recording session. For many, due to the pandemic, it was the first time in over a year that they had played with other musicians.”
The recording of “God Bless America” features guest Euphonium soloist and vocalist John Palatucci, a long-time member and soloist with the Goldman Band, an American concert band founded in 1918 by Edwin Franko Goldman from his previous New York Military Band that performed in New York City up through 2005.
Palatucci and Coates had performed together in the Goldman Band in the 1980s. Palatucci ‘s virtuoso playing and singing fit perfectly with Villanueva’s arrangement of “God Bless America” for the recording, Coates said.
“While the band has not played together live in over fourteen months, we fell “into step” quickly,” Ebersole said. “We play both of these songs frequently, but this performance brought a wave of emotions over me.”
“It will be a true honor to have this played on the ‘big screen’ at Yankee Stadium, as they pay tribute to all the New York forces that have served with selflessness during the COVID-19 mission,” he said.
The Yankees expect to show the video for their home game over Memorial Day weekend and for other future games.