New York Guard Band Leader Finale for West Point Performance ‘Tone Poem on Taps’ played for Labor Day Concert By Warrant Officer Ubon Mendie, New York Guard
New York Guard Maj. Douglas Hedwig conducts the Army West Point Band in concert Sept. 2. Hedwig led the band in a performance of his original composition, “Tone Poem on Taps” as a tribute to the original bugle call known as “Taps,” first created in 1862. Photo courtesy of Master Sgt. Susan Davidson, U.S. Army Band.
WEST POINT – The New York Guard’s band leader, Maj. Douglas Hedwig, conducted the United States Military Academy Band here at Trophy Point September 2, in the premiere performance of his own composition entitled “Tone Poem on Taps.” The Labor Day weekend concert performances were a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Supported by the West Point Museum, there were Civil War reenactors, as well as family activities. The concert series featured the Hellcats, the Jazz Knights and the U.S. Army Concert Band. More than 13,000 people attended the performances. Hedwig prepared his composition as a tribute to the creation of one of the nation’s most recognizable bugle calls, “Taps.” “Taps was composed during the Civil War in June 1862 by New York Brig. Gen. Daniel 48
Butterfield,” Hedwig said. “Gen. Butterfield is buried at West Point, so it is altogether fitting that the premiere of this new work take place at West Point, performed by one of the finest musical organizations in the world – the United States Army Band at West Point.” Hedwig has served five years as commander and conductor of the New York Guard’s 89th Band and retired from service with the New York Guard this fall. “It was a great honor and privilege to conduct the world renowned West Point Band, one of the finest musical organizations in the world for this occasion,” Hedwig said. Dr. Hedwig recently retired as Professor of Music at The City University of New York in Brooklyn. Prior to that, he was a trumpeter with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York City for 27 years, recorded over 40 albums in classical, jazz and popular music idioms, and
performed with many of the biggest names in the New York music scene. Hedwig composed the official march of the New York Naval Militia (the “New York Naval Militia March”). In addition, he composed the “New York Guard March” in 2007, based on the original song, “The Good Old N.Y.G.,” composed by Maj. Charles Clanton of the New York Guard in 1916. His compositions have been performed by the 42nd Infantry Division Band and the Maryland Defense Force Band, as well as other musical organizations. Hedwig has served additionally as a volunteer with New York City Fire Department as a bugler with the Fire Department of New York (FDNY), sounding “Taps” at many memorial services for firefighters who died on September 11, 2001. He has also volunteered those bugle services with the New York Military Forces Honor Guard. GUARD TIMES
Fall 2012 Guard Times Magazine