Free Concert on July 6th at the Vermont Veterans’ Home in Bennington, Vermont
My Uncle John, a native Vermonter from up near the Canadian border, was a resident of what we knew then as the Old Soldiers Home in Bennington, Vermont. I was too naïve to understand why he was there or to be curious as to how he got there. Unfortunately, I never visited him even though by the time he became a resident I had married into a family from Bennington and was aware of the Soldier’s Home. I knew nothing of my uncle’s military career. My father’s family was very private and it never came up. How sad and how typical.
Now I live in Pittsfield, MA just down the road from Bennington and play in a wonderful community band…The Eagles. (No, not that Eagles Band.) One of our musicians not only comes from Bennington to be in the band but also works at what is now known as the Vermont Veteran’s Home. It was through her that the Eagles Band was invited three years ago to play a concert for the veterans. It has become an honor to do so. We are no longer a marching band so our participation in the Memorial Day, 4th of July and Veteran’s Day parades in Pittsfield has come to an end. Putting on a “sit-down” concert on the lawn of the Vermont Veteran’s Home fulfills that need to give back and to honor those who have fought to preserve our freedom and to entertain those who work so hard to take care of these precious and brave veterans.
The Vermont Veteran’s Home is a unique place with a long history. It was originally established in 1860 to help disabled veterans from the Civil War and continues today with new buildings and updated nursing and rehabilitation care. It has a 5 Star rating from the Nursing Care Compare Awards and is equipped to provide extensive levels of care.
The grounds have always been a respite for Bennington residents and the traveling public. The facility is located right next to Route 7, the main road through town. There is a large lawn with shade trees and a treed park known as the Deer Park that houses fallow deer, a favorite place for children to experience the animals. There is a lovely trout pond. The memorial area with its monolithic white granite monuments is a beautiful and moving tribute to Vermont Medal of Honor winners, Gold Star Mothers, and Vermont Veterans.
The Vermont Veteran’s Home opens its grounds up to the public for concerts on the lawn and at the gazebo. Come hear the Eagles Band from Pittsfield, MA play on Wednesday July 6th at 6:30pm. It is free. Bring a chair and enjoy a concert with tunes from Broadway to movies to marches and patriotic tunes.
Tari Wheeler-Roosa, flautist with the Eagles Band in Pittsfield, MA, loves music and her community. She is devoted to performing excellent music and donating it and her time to various causes. Her last public concert was to raise money for food banks in Berkshire County. Now she is putting herself and her talent out there to help raise money for the beautiful newly acquired Baldwin Grand Piano – a 1990 walnut 6’3″grand – that her church, the United Congregational Church in Lee, MA. recently purchased.
With Mother’s Day approaching, Tari is the epitome of a proud mom. Joining her on Sunday May 15th is her eldest son, William Hack. He will be playing the double bass to accompany his mom and Joshua Birns-Sprague as they present music by Mozart, Bolling, Eccles, Joplin and Imahori.
Tari is an accomplished flautist and music educator. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Lowell and a Master of Music in Music Ed. from the University of Colorado at Boulder with additional training in Early Childhood and Suzuki.She has taught music in Massachusetts, Vermont and Colorado.She also plays with the Eagles Band and in the Jovia Trio; a flute, violin and piano ensemble. Tari has been a Berkshire Music School faculty member since 1994.