Was that the last performance in Eppelheim?

By CPL Andrew Tryon
USAREUR Band and Chorus

Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung, 05 MAR 12
Von Sabine Geschwill, trans. Brigitte O'Preska.

The more than 600 guests that attended the friendship concert of the US Army Europe Band on Friday left with mixed feelings after more than two entertaining hours. They were happy because the musicians and conductors once again perfectly knew how to make the orchestra and soloists shine. They were sad because of the impending relocation of the musicians from Schwetzingen to Sembach near Kaiserslautern. It is very likely that this was the last concert of the US musicians in Eppelheim.

It was certainly the last performance in the city for band commander Beth Steele. She will return to the United States this summer and dedicate herself to other tasks. At the end of her farewell concert, she was surprised with a special honor from Mayor Dieter Mörlein. But first, music was the center attraction.

For the “Hands across the Sea” friendship concert, LTC Beth Steele had guest conductors from different countries at her side. High caliber conductors from Germany, the United States and Great Britain passed on the baton. LTC Christoph Scheibling had travelled from Bonn and the Bundeswehr’s Center of Military Music. Dr. Graham Jones had been dispatched from London’s “Coldstream Guards Band (sic) and Dr. Eric Hinton travelled across the Atlantic from Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.

Scheibling had the orchester perform the rehearsed “Isonzo March” by Georg Fürst and Richard Wagner’s “Ouverture to Tannhäuser”. Dr. Graham Jones guided the musicians confidently through Great Britain’s pomp and circumstance. Dr. Eric Hinton presented a musical potpourri of old American songs. Saxophone soloist Staff Sergeant Stacy Wilson received thundering applause from the audience.

During her definitely last appearance on the stage in Eppelheim, Beth Steele was brilliant as conductor of the band performing works of Leonard Bernstein and John Philip Sousa. She received standing ovations from the audience and was praised for her exemplary and untiring efforts to build partnerships in Europe.

Mayor Dieter Mörlein was proud to once again promote friendships with this concert that reach across oceans. He presented the outgoing commander Beth Steele with the honor goblet of the city along with certificate. “She was always a worthy ambassador of her country”, Mörlein said.

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