USAREUR Band and Chorus Performs at 44th annual 'Musikschau der Nationen'

By SGT Blake Helander
US Army Europe Band and Chorus

News story photo
Photo credit: SPC Shannon Eschenburg
Members of the USAREUR Band Peform with Military Musicians From All Across the Globe
Each January, the US Army Europe Band and Chorus accepts an enormous challenge - to put together a 20-minute marching band show involving nearly 70 musicians in only a matter of weeks. Upon returning from the holidays, the U.S. Army Europe Band and Chorus got right back to work preparing for its annual appearance in one of the world’s largest military band tattoos. The Band and Chorus is a mainstay at the annual Musikschau Der Nationen in the city of Bremen in northern Germany. Each year, bands from across the globe travel to Bremen and perform for eager audiences. 2008 marked the 44th anniversary of the tattoo with the USAREUR Band and Chorus marking its 34th year of participation.

This year’s show featured a variety of music including John Williams’, ‘Bugler’s Dream’ and ‘Olympic Fanfare’ celebrating the 2008 Olympic summer games in Beijing, China. The show also included the trumpet feature ‘Scream Machine’, a medley of World War II era swing tunes featuring the USAREUR Soldiers’ Chorus, and Glenn Miller’s famous ‘In the Mood’. Key to the success of the show were the outstanding efforts of drill writers Sergeant Vincent Fortado and Specialist Lewis Johnson. Sergeant First Class Bill King lent his expertise in instructing the band to learn the drill. The Drum Major for this year’s show was Sergeant First Class Joel Hooper, and the conductor was the unit’s Executive Officer, Captain Daniel Toven.

The USAREUR Band and Chorus performed its high-energy show six times in Bremen’s AWD-Dome from January 24-27th. Bands from Sweden, Portugal, Australia, Belarus, Austria, Germany, Singapore and South Africa also participated. In addition to performing their own shows, all of the bands came together to form a mass band for each night’s grand finale. The mass band formation symbolizes the spirit of friendship between the nations. The annual trip is one of the unit’s favorite and most memorable experiences because the Soldiers of the Band and Chorus get to perform and interact with military musicians from around the world and bring the message of the United States Army to thousands of spectators.

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