Home / Alan Armstrong: honoring others



Dr. Alan Armstrong received his Ph.D in Music History from The Ohio State University. He also holds a B.Mus.Ed from there, and an M.M. in piano performance from Bradley University. Dr. Armstrong is also a cellist, and serves as principal cellist of the Wilson Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he is a Grade II bagpiper, enjoying success as a competitor with the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association, and a member of the Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums. Dr. Armstrong is also a scholar known for his work in French Grand Opera, notably the work of composer Giacomo Meyerbeer. Dr. Armstrong has been researching the life and works of Pipe Major John Grant, a piping composer and author who lived in Edinburgh, Scotland throughout the first half of the 20th century. Dr. Armstrong is also the founder and director of “Free Spirit,” a contemporary Christian ensemble that represents Mount Olive College at various functions throughout the Eastern United States.

Alan wrote the Wake and District March so the band would have its own regimental march.  Download here >> Wake & District March

…the band has a right to be proud of itself, and as we march in parades or off the field during a competition, I wanted to write a tune for the band that would be distinctly its own.

While there are many other bands who serve first responders within their communities, many of them play the same tunes to honor their fallen. “For Our Fallen” is everything the band stands for and Alan wanted to pay homage to the brave men and women who, as first responders, put their lives on the line daily for everyone – and he did so by composing the tune For our Fallen. Download here >> For Our Fallen

..I wanted Wake and District to be different and wanted the band to have a tune of its own to be played at those important times when honoring the service of our police, fire, and emergency personnel with a solemn march is appropriate.

Wake & District remains focused on future achievement, despite all of our past accomplishments. We take great pride in all our endeavors and realize there is always a higher level of excellence to be won. We strive to be humble and grateful for our members, our collective talents and hard work, and the opportunities we have to perform and grow. Our members share strong bonds beyond the competition circle, fostering relationships with other members of the team; allowing us to flourish as an organization and allows us to continue to move forward. The band is eternally grateful for Alan Armstrong’s talents. Although a time may come when Alan will no longer be able to play with the band – his tunes will forever be a part of the band’s repertoire — and he will always be within our ranks.

…both of these tunes mean a lot to me personally, because the band means something to me personally. It is such a joy to participate in an organization that is committed to honoring others in a way that is both emotionally and musically edifying. 

– download PDF copies of Alan’s tunes from the images above –