Free Veteran-led Concerts at Stone Church June 11 and 25, 2023
U.S. Air Force veteran John P. Sacco will lead two outdoor concerts at the Stone Church Cultural Center, 283 Main Street (Route 32), Gilbertville, MA, presented by Friends of the Stone Church: “Jazz on a Summers Day” by Weir River Jazz Ensemble, Sunday June 11 at 2 pm, and “Concert Band Classics” by The Weir River Concert Band, Sunday June 25, 2 pm. Both events are free, sponsored by Country Bank. The public is invited to bring lawn chairs or blankets. Tents, refreshments and accessible facilities will be provided.
Weir River Jazz is a traditional jazz ensemble specializing in Big Band Jazz and Swing, led by Mr. Sacco as lead alto saxophone.
A career veteran, John P. Sacco was awarded the Silver Star for his actions in Vietnam in October of 1969. He trained at Boston Conservatory and taught music in the public schools. He returned to active duty for the 104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, an operational flying unit based in Westfield, MA. He served in “Operation Desert Storm,” the largest US military air campaign since the conflict in Southeast Asia. He supported Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, Northern Watch and Southern Watch. He also served with US forces in Bosnia and Kosovo, having been deployed to Aviano Air Force Airbase (Italy) and to Kuwait.
Sacco founded the Weir River Concert Band, formerly the Ware River Community Band, in 2006. Weir River Jazz grew out of the concert band to focus on jazz and improvisation. Since 2020, both groups have made the Gilbertville Stone Church Cultural their rehearsal home.
These programs are supported, in part, by the Mass Cultural Council through its Project Grants program; and by Local Cultural Councils of Hardwick-New Braintree, North Brookfield, Oakham and Petersham. The local councils are programs of the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency. In addition, Country Bank is a sponsor of these concerts.