Hospital Hosts Veterans Affairs Musicians

July 7, 2005

Hospital Hosts Veterans Affairs Musicians

by JOSN Heather Weaver
Journal Staff Writer

The National Naval Medical Center welcomed the Veterans Affairs National Medical Musical Group June 27, for a concert in front of Radiology. A small ensemble of musicians from Veterans Affairs’ larger symphony, scheduled to perform on Capital Hill June 28, provided entertainment for hospital visitors and staff.

“Our mission is to perform music of healing, unity, inspiration and patriotism,” said Dr. Victor Wahby, director of Special Projects of Veterans Health Administra-tion. “There is nothing more rewarding than having our musicians perform for our heroes.”

The musical group, founded by Wahby nearly 10 years ago, is comprised of men and women from different locations throughout the U.S. Each year the group gives two concerts, one in November to honor Veteran’s Day and the other in June to honor Flag Day. They perform in different cities for each concert. According to CAPT Wayne McBride, a Bureau of Medicine and Surgery staff member and band participant, the group receives their music in the mail a few weeks before a given performance and comes together only a few days prior to each performance to practice.

“People got here Saturday, rehearsed Saturday and our big concert is [three days later],” McBride said. “It’s up to the group member to learn the music himself.”

The group has also performed in some 15 countries, including Australia and Russia. The overseas tours generally follow the November concert and aim at promoting global harmony through music.

The group’s chorus and orchestra perform about a dozen songs and feature dramatic narratives integrated into the music, McBride said. The narratives are dispersed with musical elements and provide a musical method of faith and patriotism.