U.S. Army Europe Band presents first NATO Saxophone Orchestra

By Spc. Victoria Chamberlin
U.S. Army Europe Band & Chorus

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Photo credit: Spc. Victoria Chamberlin
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STRASBOURG, France (July 9, 2015)- A strategic objective of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is to improve relationships, interaction and practical cooperation with partners, nations, and international organizations. The first ever, NATO Saxophone Orchestra helped to achieve that objective by bringing military saxophonists together in performance.

13 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines from 9 NATO member nations traveled to Strasbourg, France to perform at the 17th World Saxophone Congress under the direction of U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR) Band & Chorus Executive Officer, Capt. Aaron Morris. The group originated from a proposal submitted to the World Saxophone Congress by Spc. Christopher Condon, saxophonist in the USAREUR Band.

“I approached my chain of command about putting together a NATO ensemble. We worked probably 6-7 hours a day to prepare. It’s been a wonderful time learning from these various musicians, coming together, and coming from a lot of different styles of saxophone playing and becoming one,” Spc. Christopher Condon.

The musicians received their parts one month prior to the performance, and put together their debut with less than 5 days of rehearsals. The saxophonists were able to spend valuable time exchanging musical ideas, and learning what life is like for military musicians in other branches and nations.

“This echoes the expectations of NATO. Where each nation comes together to hold their own contributions and bring them to the team to achieve a collective goal.” Executive Officer, Capt. Aaron Morris

Please visit the link for the full performance, courtesy of AFN Europe: https://youtu.be/BWhPrxDY9c4

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