RALEIGH, N.C. – The North Carolina National Guard’s band entertained the thousands of guests and newly-elected officials in downtown Raleigh Jan. 12, 2013, during the 47th governor of North Carolina’s inauguration ceremony.
The 440th Army Band was the opening act in the inauguration ceremony for Gov. Pat McCrory. The 40-musician band played patriotic and contemporary music prior to the ceremony’s beginning, including the songs “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” “America the Beautiful” and the inspirational theme song from the television show “The A-Team.” The band also marched and performed in the parade through downtown Raleigh, which followed the swearing-in of officials and the governor’s speech.
The band is no stranger to performing during ceremonies. The Old North State’s minutemen musicians have been part of North Carolina governor’s inauguration ceremonies since at least 1993, when Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. began his second term. The unit’s first sergeant, 1st Sgt. Jerry Bower, has performed in all of those ceremonies since 1993.
“We’re all just a bunch of entertainers. We absolutely love to get up in front of people and perform during these ceremonies,” said Bower. “It is absolutely an honor to be part of the governor’s inauguration ceremony and the celebration parade.”
The inauguration ceremony was also attended by North Carolina National Guard leadership, including Army Maj. Gen. Gregory Lusk, the adjutant general of the North Carolina National Guard.
“We were very prominent in an awful lot of this ceremony today,” said Lusk. “Our band sounded absolutely professional.”
In addition to performing during the governor’s inauguration ceremony Jan. 12, a five-man team from the 440th, called the Liberty Brass Quintet, performed during the private swearing-in ceremony of Gov. McCrory at the state capitol building Jan. 5.
The quintet played a couple of songs from the governor’s favorite band, the Beatles, after he swore in his cabinet members in the old senate chamber. During the performance, the governor showed his appreciation by giving the musicians a thumb up while passed through the lower floor of the capitol.
Sgt. Jake McAllister, a trumpet player in the brass quintet, was excited about the performance.
“It was a tremendous opportunity to perform that most soldiers in the Guard don’t have the opportunity to do,” he said.