German Audiences Enjoy USAREUR Band and Chorus’ Sounds of the Season

By SGT Blake Helander
USAREUR Band and Chorus

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Members of the Band and Chorus Sing and Play Holiday Favorites in Eppelheim, Germany
In December of 2007, Major Andrew J. Esch and the US Army Europe Band and Chorus entertained thousands of listeners by performing five holiday-themed concerts throughout Germany. These shows represented the unit’s largest production of the year and combined the talents of the Concert Band, Soldiers’ Chorus and the Soldiers of Swing Big Band. The annual holiday concert series is a unique and special experience for an Army Bandsman. Soldiers of the USAREUR Band and Chorus got the opportunity to perform for nearly 10,000 people in some of Germany’s finest concert halls. The musicians performed their two-hour program and encores for capacity audiences in the German cities of Eppelheim, Karlsruhe, Pforzheim, Bad Kreuznach and at Heidelberg’s famous Stadthalle. The Heidelberg concert was attended by the Commanding General of US Army Europe, General David D. McKiernan.

Culturally, European audiences are known for their appreciation of live music- especially American jazz and pop. The 2007 holiday concert series was no exception. Bad Kreuznach resident Alexander Goldenbaum, who has been attending U.S. Army bands’ concerts for over 20 years and collects Army band memorabilia, remarked after the concert, “My time spent with the U.S. Army bands has been very great!”

Audiences enjoyed an exciting mix of traditional and contemporary holiday favorites like “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” “O Holy Night,” “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree”, and “Sleigh Ride.” The program also featured the band’s rhythm section performing Sergeant Michael Webb’s arrangement of Vince Guaraldi’s famous jazz music from “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Other featured soloists were Private First Class Jeffrey Haney playing guitar and singing “Jingle Bell Rock” and Staff Sergeant Linda Wolfe’s rendition of “Joy to the World” in the style of Whitney Houston. Even the audience was featured in a ‘Sing-A-Long’ of holiday favorites! The joint concert series culminated another successful year of U.S. Army Europe Band and Chorus performances around the European theater.


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