In the middle of 2020 — right in the middle of the pandemic — we received an invitation from Music Celebrations International (MCI) on behalf of the Mayor of Honolulu inviting our group to be one of 20 other bands to perform at the 80th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. As part of the concert series, we would have the opportunity to perform on both December 6 and 7 and be a part of honoring the WWII veterans present and lay a wreath at the Arizona Memorial. We were also the only ensemble invited from the State of South Carolina, and we certainly felt the weight of being a representative of our state and region.
Since our founding in 1998, the Festive Brass of Myrtle Beach was established as a ceremonial brass band to honor active military and our veterans past and present. As an ensemble, we all felt compelled to accept this invitation, and in December 2020, we enthusiastically decided to begin a journey of fundraising so that every member of our group could have the opportunity to be a part of this incredible historic event.
We were hopeful that setting our sights on this goal would also bring our organization out of the pandemic and unite us as a group like never before. After a full year of not being able to gather and play any music together, the whole group was energized by having a goal to bring honor, appreciation, and hope to WWII veterans. We couldn’t imagine a better goal to bring us all back together. This opportunity re-ignited our purpose as an ensemble, and in January of 2021, we raised the bar in a huge way to begin working on music that was more challenging, creative and engaging than we had ever worked on before.
As we began sharing our story with our local media and audiences, we were overwhelmed by the support we received both in helping to tell our story and raise so much of the financial support we needed. On December 4, 2021, we traveled together to the island of Oahu and completed the vision we had hoped for by being able to perform twice during this historic event. On December 6, we performed at the Bowfin submarine adjacent from the Arizona Memorial and on the morning of December 7 at 9:30a, we were honored to be the first band to kick off the entire concert series for the day. Many of our family members also traveled with us, which made the entire experience something we all will never forget.
It is our hope that this page helps to memorialize our journey together and remind all of us of the incredible sacrifice that these men and women made during WWII to allow us to be able to enjoy the freedoms we currently have.
“Festive Brass is a vital partner to the City of Myrtle Beach. They provide patriotic anthems and music for many of our military events, and they always do so with passion.”
Watch the Festive Brass' Full Concert on December 7, 2021 in Honolulu, Hawaii.