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Local musicians honored to be part of Chattanooga Unite, performing with Harry Connick, Jr.

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  • UPDATE: Chattanooga Unite - Tribute on the River

    UPDATE: Chattanooga Unite - Tribute on the River

    Wednesday, September 16 2015 6:30 PM EDT2015-09-16 22:30:03 GMT
    Today is the day Chattanoogans honor and remember the Fallen Five, celebrating their lives with a day of parades, concerts and tributes to the brave men.More
    Today is the day Chattanoogans honor and remember the Fallen Five, celebrating their lives with a day of parades, concerts and tributes to the brave men.More
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Final preparations are underway for Wednesday's Tribute On The River, honoring the five fallen servicemen killed on July 16th.

The East TN Symphony Orchestra is one of the groups that will join on Harry Connick Jr. on stage in effort to do their part to honor the Chattanooga Shooting victims.

"The thought that you can take a tragedy and you can turn it into something positive, that's what we want to be a part of," said Music Director Richard Hickam.

READ MORE | What you need to know: Chattanooga Unite - Tribute on the River

Like many others after the July 16th shootings, Hickam wanted to help the families involved.

The offer to play alongside Harry Connick Jr. gives Hickam's group the chance to do what they do best.

"Would you be available to put something together behind Harry Connick Jr." Hickam said, "And of course I almost fainted right then."

The orchestra will play one song on stage.

"It is a song to honor these men that have lost their lives and to honor their families," said Violinist Janel McKee.

They will play a new arrangement of the Navy Hymn "Eternal Father." 

The song Mayor Andy Berke requested Harry Connick Jr. perform on the occasion. 

"A lot of people will feel like they relate through our music, even if they're not musical," said Cellist Jeanette McElroy.

It will be a performance unlike any other for the orchestra, with a strong message for everyone in the crowd.

"Well it will be an emotional day, my mind and my thoughts will be with the families," said McKee.

The orchestra and choir are volunteering their time to make the performance special for everyone.
    
Donations will be collected to go to the families of victims.

"In a real way these families will be able to send their kids to college, or do what needs to be done to honor these brave men," Hickam said.
 

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