Tonight, Gwen and I went to see The United States Army Field Band and Soldiers’ Chorus perform at the Cam-plex. It was sponsored by The Gillette News-Record and Cam-plex. Tickets were free, you just had to ask for them. This was a great show. It lasted about 2 hours, with a brief intermission. The show we saw tonight was made up of the Concert Band and the Soldiers’ Chorus. They did several pieces together, but mostly it was the Concert Band who performed.
One of the pieces the Concert Band performed was Gustav Holst‘s Second Suite for Military Band in F, op. 28b. This was the first piece which I played in college at the University of Indianapolis. It was good to hear something which was familiar to me. Another piece they played was “Con Brio” from Sonatina by Joseph Horovitz. I had no idea who the composer was or what the piece was. It turned out to be a jazz piece, featuring…wait for it…clarinet! Sergeant First Class Shannon Coleman was the soloist. She did an excellent job. With all of the high notes she hit, not once did she squeak the clarinet.
A piece that consisted of the Concert Band and the Soldiers’ Choir, with soloist, was “Toreador Song” from Carmen, featuring Staff Sergeant Mark Huseth as soloist. Seeing as I didn’t understand the words since they were not in English, SSG Huseth had a wonderful voice.
One of the best pieces was A Billy Joel Songbook. They did several songs of Billy Joel’s 4-decade career, featuring soloists from the Choir and used the rest of the Choir as back-up singers.
The part which The US Army Field Band enjoys the most is being able to play military songs. They played every anthem for the branches of the military: Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, and their favorite, Army. It was nice to hear each branch’s anthem. The Commander and Conductor, Colonel Thomas H. Palmatier, asked each person who has served in those branches, those who have loved ones serving in those branches, or those who would like to show support for those branches, to stand during the appropriate anthem. During each anthem, he saluted the audience. It was nice to see a colonel saluting the people which he serves.
If you are able to see The US Army Field Band on tour, I highly recommend it. You will not be disappointed. To see if they are coming near you, check out their tour schedule.