USAREUR Band and Chorus, Vietnam Share Stage In Bremen Tattoo

By SPC Blake Helander
USAREUR Band and Chorus

News story photo
Photo credit: SPC Mike Acevedo
CPT Scott McKenzie conducts musicians from USAREUR Band and Vietnam Police Band, Hanoi in a performance of Beethoven's 'Ode To Joy".
During the last week of January, the USAREUR Band and Chorus participated in one of Europe’s largest international band tattoos, Musikschau der Nationen 2007, in the scenic northern German city of Bremen. Thousands of music fans packed into Bremen’s AWD-Dome to hear bands from Sweden, the Netherlands, Russia, Portugal, Germany, and as far away as Malaysia and Vietnam. The USAREUR Band and Chorus attends the popular event annually. This year, their 60 Soldier ensemble performed a variety of American popular music including selections from “The Blues Brothers”, the musical “Chicago”, Ellington’s “Caravan”, and “In the Mood”.
A highlight of the event was a friendship ceremony between the USAREUR Band and the Hanoi Police Band from Vietnam symbolizing the strengthening of ties between the two nations. After a joint performance between the two bands, CPT Scott McKenzie of the USAREUR Band and Chorus and Mr. Vu Van Ky of the Hanoi Police Band shook hands. “I think sharing the stage with the Vietnamese band in a third-party venue was a very powerful symbolic gesture of reconciliation and acceptance,"remarked CPT McKenzie after the historic event. “One of the great things about performing in an international show like this is that it’s a great opportunity to build bridges with a common bond. There’s an incredible variety of cultures and musical styles, but we very often weather the same types of problems and experience the same types of joys.” In this spirit of international friendship, each of the tattoo’s 7 shows ended with all bands performing in a massed finale.

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