USAREUR Band and Chorus Fall Concert Series a Success

USAREUR Band and Chorus

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Major Andrew J. Esch and soloists from the USAREUR Band and Chorus take bows after their encore in Babenhausen, Germany.
The US Army Europe Band and Chorus performed five concerts throughout Germany during October. The band performed for enthusiastic crowds in Eppelheim, Wald-Michelbach, Babenhausen, Bamberg, culminating in the famous Rococo Theater in the Schwetzingen Palace.

Major Andrew J. Esch and Captain Daniel Toven shared the conducting responsibilities. The fall concert series marked Captain Toven’s conducting debut with the band. He is the USAREUR Band’s new Executive Officer and formerly worked with the United States Army Field Band. “It is an absolute pleasure conducting such a fine ensemble. I’m honored to be working with these outstanding Soldier-musicians,” the Captain remarked. As always, the group performed an eclectic program of serious concert band repertoire, pop, jazz, choral arrangements, marches and solo features.

Highlights of the program included the classical favorites ‘Russlan and Ludmilla’ by Glinka and Rossini’s ‘Barber of Seville’, ‘Bourbon Street Parade’ (featuring the Rhein River Ramblers Dixieland Band), Nigel Hess’ ‘New York’ and the programmatic ‘12 Seconds to the Moon’ by Robert W. Smith. The crowd-pleasing Soldiers’ Chorus performed the doo-wop classic ‘Blue Moon’ and the a capella ‘Mansions of the Lord’, made famous by the 2002 ‘We Were Soldiers’ film. The band also performed arrangements of Stevie Wonder’s ‘I Wish’ (sung by Staff Sergeant Derrick Alexander) and Lionel Ritchie’s ‘All Night Long’ (sung by Specialist Mike Acevedo).

The concerts also showcased two of the band’s talented instrumental soloists. Sergeant Holly Somers performed the oboe solo ‘Variations on a Theme by Glinka’ by Rimsky-Korsakov and Sergeant Blake Helander performed James Woodward’s Tuba Concerto. Each concert culminated with the Band and Chorus’ show-stopping medley from the motion-picture, ‘Dreamgirls’. Staff Sergeant Linda Wolfe received standing ovations for her rendition of the Dreamgirls’ hit song, ‘And I am Telling You.'

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