Soldiers of Swing Tours Poland and Lithuania

By SPC Blake Helander
USAREUR Band and Chorus

News story photo
Photo credit: SSG Spencer Hutcheson
Soldiers of Swing perform in Lomza, Poland
Members of the US Army Europe Band “Soldiers Of Swing” toured Eastern Europe in late March and early April. The Soldiers of Swing are the premiere jazz ensemble of America’s Army in Europe and performs music from the big band era to contemporary jazz. Their whirlwind tour consisted of six concerts throughout Poland and Lithuania in the cities of Lomza, Bydgoszcz, Bialystok, Vilnius, and Klaipeda. The varied program included classic jazz standards like “Take the A Train”, “All Of Me” and “Sing, Sing, Sing” in addition to swinging versions of the Army Song and Stars and Stripes Forever. Band leader SFC Bill King arranged the hit song, “New Day For You”-popularized by Polish recording artist, Basia. The vocals were performed by SSG Jennifer Staggs, who was well-received by the audiences. Members of the group also got the opportunity to spend time with children from a local orphanage in Klaipeda, Poland. The kids were VIP guests at the concert, and the following day USAREUR soldiers visited the Rytas orphanage for an instrument demonstration. According to SGT Kevin Pick, the group’s bass-trombonist, the tour was a hit, “Great trip. We played in some nice venues and the concerts were packed. People in Poland and Lithuania really appreciate American Jazz.”

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