Dean Morgan students give musical tribute to veterans (Photos) - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Dean Morgan students give musical tribute to veterans (Photos)

Retired Army veteran Tim Gilmore is overcome with emotion during an “Armed Forces Medley” performed by the Dean Morgan Junior High Choirs during a Veterans Day Program at DMJH on Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. – Dean Morgan Junior High music and American Sign Language students teamed up for a musical tribute to the armed forces on Veterans Day.

The program involved the Dean Morgan Junior High jazz band, advanced orchestra, choirs and American Sign Language students singing in ASL.

“This is our sixth year,” said choir director Erin Zavodny. “I just saw a hole in our community and thought we needed to teach our students about our veterans and what Veterans Day is all about.”

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The American Sign Language program started five years ago and joined the program when Zavodny reached out, according to ASL instructor Joanie Mahnen. “Right now we have about 180 students in ASL,” said Mahnen.

Around 150 Dean Morgan musicians participated in the program, according to Zavodny, who’ve all been working since September on the program.

The program included a medley of Armed Forces military songs, the “Star Spangled Banner” and “Taps” followed by a moment of silence.

During the Armed Forces Medley, veterans who served in the branch represented by the music performed were asked to stand, some unable to hold back their emotions.