U.S. Army Field Band offers 5 free holiday concerts

Posted at 2:33 PM, Dec 02, 2016

A 65-member concert band and 29-person choral ensemble make up the United States Army Field Band and Soldiers' Chorus.         

"This organization still thrives on its original idea, connecting the American people with those who serve in the military," said Commander of the Field Band, Colonel Jim Keene.

"We represent all the soldiers in the Army, we get to meet people all over the country and perform for them and talk to them, hear their stories," said Staff Sergeant Sarah Schram-Borg, Oboe and English Horn player.

The group plays in cities and towns across the U.S., traveling about 100 days out of the year.  They just got back from a 38-day tour, and have been working hard this week, prepping for their annual holiday concert series.

"It's actually really nice to finally get a chance to come home and play for the people in our own community,” Sergeant First Class and Saxophone player Brian Sacawa said.  “And it's especially nice around the holiday season."

The band and chorus only had about three rehearsals to get ready, but they have patriotic songs and holiday classics ready for the show.

“The planning for the show really starts months and months in advance,” Sacawa said.  “We have a team of people who propose music that we’re going to play, we have solo auditions for people playing solos, and it’s really a big team effort that goes into it.”

It's a rare treat to see the concert band and chorus perform.  The Field Band was founded 70-years ago, they play in small town gymnasiums and the best concert halls in the world.

"The most important people we play for are the American people," Keene said.

The musicians and vocalists are some of the finest artists from across the country, using their passion to serve something bigger then themselves.

"When people come to our show we really hope that they're entertained, but more than anything we hope that they recognize the professionalism and excellence of the Army that we represent through music," said Sacawa.

"We hope that the audience celebrates this country, and we need to take the time to celebrate America, what it stands for, and understand and remember who protects it,” Keene said.

If you want to see the Field Band in concert, their annual “Sound the Bells” holiday series kicks off this weekend.  The five shows are free, but you need a ticket to attend.

Concert Band and Soldiers’ Chorus:

  • The Hippodrome Theatre, Baltimore, Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 4 at 3 p.m.     

Jazz Ambassadors:

  • Meade High School Auditorium, Fort Meade, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m.
  • Centennial High School Auditorium, Ellicott City, Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Download the ABC2 News app for the iPhone, Kindle and Android.