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USAREUR BAND AND CHORUS
 SEMBACH, GERMANY -

USAREUR Band and Chorus to Spread Cheer with Holiday Concert

By Rick Scavetta
Stars and Stripes, European Edition

News story photo
Photo credit: Raymond T. Conway
Soldiers of the U.S. Army Europe Band rehearse at Tompkins Barracks in Schwetzingen, Germany,
HEIDELBERG, Germany — The U.S. Army Europe Band and Chorus are gearing up for their holiday concert series, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”

They will present five shows in several cities across southern Germany. Performances will be full of singing, dancing and great holiday music from around the world, band officials said.

“This year’s program will be one of the most varied ever,” said Lt. Col. Thomas Palmatier, commander of the USAREUR Band and Chorus.

“It will feature singing and dancing based on the holiday traditions of Christmas, Hanukkah, Feast of the Three Kings and Ramadan.”

Band and chorus members began putting the program together in July. Because of the show’s complexity, the band recorded the instrumental accompaniments in early October, Palmatier said.

Singers have been working with the recordings to rehearse the vocal parts and the dancing. This week at Tompkins Barracks in Schwetzingen, the entertainers will put the final touches on the production during rehearsals. Their first joint show is Tuesday.

Over the past year, the band and chorus have performed more than 200 shows in nearly a dozen countries, including a tour in eastern Europe.

Since the 76th Army and the 1st Armored Division bands deployed to Iraq, and with the 1st Infantry Division Band soon to depart, the USAREUR Band also has stepped up its role in providing musical support throughout the European theater.

This year’s holiday season is meaningful for the families that are together, but is especially poignant for those that are not because of the deployments, Palmatier said.

“That’s why this year’s series is especially dedicated to the Army family,” Palmatier said. “Those of us who are with our families during this season have absolutely not forgotten our fellow soldiers who aren’t.”

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