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Official website of the International Military Music Festival “Spasskaya Tower”
19 August 2017

My Dear Capital!

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On August 19 the Alexandrovsky Garden in the Moscow Kremlin hosted the final concert of the summer season of the Military Bands in Parks series, which has been parading for as long as three months through the Moscow gardens and parks at the forefront of the Xth International Military Music Festival «Spasskaya Tower».

In 2016 the format of free-for-all performances of military brass bands was tested at the VDNKh. The warm welcome of the audience prompted the Directorate of the «Spasskaya Tower» Festival backed by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and the Moscow City Cultural Heritage Department to arrange more outdoor music venues in 2017 and make the concerts of military bands regular.

«Each Saturday since May 20, members of the top bands of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, the Russian National Guard Forces and EMERCOM armed with nothing else but their musical instruments and performance skills have been fighting for your good spirits and for a real summer to come to Moscow», said Head of the Directorate of the «Spasskaya Tower» Festival Sergey Smirnov to the audience in the Alexandrovsky Garden. «And, judging by today’s weather, it has eventually yielded to the persistence of our bands in uniform, who are playing for you, dear Moscovites and guests of our city, with equal musical prowess, rain or shine!»

The whole 2017 season comprised as many as 15 concerts in the Bauman Garden and the Hermitage Garden, the Victory Park on Poklonnaya Hill, Gorky Park, Muzeon, Sokolniki, Izmailovsky, Perovsky, and Vorontsovsky parks, as well as other landmark stages of the city.

«One of the major initiatives to revive a grand Russian tradition of brass band weekend performances in the city parks belonged to Major General Valery Khalilov, the permanent music director of the International Festival „Spasskaya Tower“, who, I’m sorry to say that, had departed this life», said a Minister of the Government of Moscow, Head of the Moscow City Cultural Heritage Department Aleksandr Kibovskiy. «But I believe today we all can say many thanks to this eminent bandmaster, composer, music director of the top bands, as well as to those musicians, who have made his dream come true and presented the Moscovites and guests of the city with this summer music gift!»

The final concert of the season was given in the Alexandrovsky Garden by two top Russian military bands — the Central Military Band of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and the Exemplary Military Band of the Honor Guard — 140 bandsmen and 4 military bandmasters all in all. Among its numerous visitors there were Moscovites, as well as domestic and foreign tourists. For nearly two hours the bandmasters Colonel Sergey Durygin, Lieutenant Colonel Konstantin Petrovich, Majors Andrey Nisenbaum and Pavel Gernets have been conducting the orchestras by turns under the boiling sun, but both the performers and the audience showed admirable endurance, and the listening public wanted the bandsmen to play more even after the final «Farewell of Slavianka» march was over. A choral singing of a well-known song «My Dear Capital» became the audience’s declaration of love to Moscow. And the «Victory Day» tune was the finishing lyrical touch, which has drawn tears from many of those present and reminded them of the great deed of our ancestors.

«The Military Bands in Parks series made us see that the exceptional power of our army lies not only in its weapons and troops, but also in its unique cultural heritage," added up Chief of the Military Bands' Service of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation — the chief bandmaster Colonel Timofey Mayakin. «We hope that the concerts like these will be a tradition and a hallmark of the „Spasskaya Tower“ Festival just like the International Military Music Festival itself had become a hallmark of Moscow and Russia in the course of its ten year activities».

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