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Visiting Arlington’s military and historic sites can inspire travelers from far and wide. During summer months, the inspiring backdrop of these attractions is often enhanced with the musical sounds of the USA.
Venues such as the Air Force Memorial, the Netherlands Carillon and Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall showcase the talents of guest artists and U.S. servicemen and women who are highly accomplished musicians across a broad array of musical genres. The best part? Concert admission is free.
On summer Saturdays at the Netherlands Carillon, you can enjoy sweeping views of Washington, D.C., while artists play patriotic music, jazz and pop on Netherlands Carillon's 50 bells.
Bring a blanket or folding chairs to the carillon, which was a gift from the Netherlands to express the gratitude of the Dutch people for liberation from the Nazis during World War II. Curious about what it’s like to attend the concert? You can hear a preview and take a real-time peek at the amazing view of the capital skyline that’s going to delight you.
1812 Overture Concert
The U.S. Army Band presents its annual 1812 Overture Concert at Joint Base Fort Myer-Henderson Hall on August 18 at 8 p.m. A late-summer tradition in the Washington area for more than 50 years, this concert features the Concert Band, Herald Trumpets, the Army Chorus, Army Voices, and members of Downrange. Program highlights include selections from the hit Broadway show Hamilton, and music honoring Vietnam Veterans by the Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash, and Simon & Garfunkel. The title piece of this concert will be sure to please with four 5,775-pound WWII-era anti-tank guns operated by members of the Presidential Salute Battery of The U.S. 3rd Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) for Tchaikovsky's legendary 1812 Overture with live cannon fire!
The Fort Myer Henry Gate will open for pedestrians and cyclists from 6 to 10:30 p.m. Everyone 18 or older must have a valid photo ID to gain entry. The Hatfield Gate will be open for both vehicular and pedestrian traffic; there is ample free parking. In the event of rain, the concert will be held indoors at Conmy Hall, where there is plenty of stadium seating. Additional details may be found here. Weather call will be made no later than noon on Saturday, August 18, with updates posted at www.facebook.com/usarmyband.
U.S. Air Force Band
The U.S. Air Force Band's Summer Concert Series has been part of Washington D.C.'s cultural life for more than a half-century. Throughout the summer months, the band's performing ensembles present free outdoor concerts at historic venues. The “Heritage to Horizons” performances by the band's Airmen musicians can be enjoyed at the Air Force Memorial certain Fridays throughout the summer.
The concerts honor the rich history of the Air Force with impeccable demonstrations by the Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team, as well as world-class music, featuring musicians from the Airmen of Note, Concert Band, Max Impact, Strolling Strings, Singing Sergeants and the Ceremonial Brass Drum Line. You’ll hear everything from Glenn Miller's Army Air Forces dance band to more modern pop hits, with a program spanning seven decades of music and a patriotic finale. Take Metro to Pentagon City, and nearby shuttle buses can transport you to security checkpoints for the concert.