Exelsior Brass Performs in Russia

By SGT Bob Hall
USAREUR Band and Chorus

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YEKATERINBURG, RUSSIA -- Independence Day is always a busy time for Army Musicians. This was especially true this year for members of Excelsior Brass, a brass quintet formed by members of the USAREUR Band and Chorus. The ensemble, led by SFC Frank McCaskill, traveled to Russia this July where they performed six musical missions and several interviews during a four-day span. In addition to performing a broad range of American musical genres – from classical to jazz, from spirituals to military marches – they also took the stage with Russian musicians, including a combined concert with the Sverdlovsk Youth Jazz Band.

Other appearances included a televised performance and interview on Russia’s Channel 4 morning news broadcast, a concert at the Sverdlovsk Veteran’s Hospital, a full two-hour concert in Yekaterinburg’s Literary Quarter, and a performance for a full house at the Chelyabinsk Philharmonic Hall. Excelsior Brass concluded their musical tour by performing as the featured entertainment at the US Consulate General’s 4th of July Reception at the Hyatt Hotel in Yekaterinburg. This short but momentous visit to Russia epitomizes the mission of the USAREUR Band and Chorus, as the US Army’s premier musical ambassadors in Europe.

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