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Taking the Army Story to the Grass Roots

April 19, 2010 | Colonel Thomas Palmatier

The Musical Ambassadors of the Army continue their tour through America's heartland.  Here, CPT Leonel Pena briefs a local color guard of veterans in St. Mary's, OH.

Finding a place to practice is always a high priority and privacy is at a premium.  SSG Kevin Walko finds some time alone to work on some technical passages.

Like lots of Army operations, there is some "hurry up and wait."  The percussion section is "training" for the euchre tournament to be held later in the tour.

The Army Field Band always asks young people to sit in with us on one selection.  They receive certificates certifying their status as honorary members as well as a set of dogtags.

Here in Wabash, IN, SSG Jennifer Everhart plays the clarinet. 

This guy should talk to the Army Recruiter in attendance at the concert.

We often invite local Army National Guard or Army Reserve bandmasters to join us.  This is CWO Palumbo of the Indiana Army National Guard.

As we walked into the field house in Arlington Heights, I wondered if we would fill the over 3,000 seats.  By show time, only a few "nose bleed" seats were empty.

Another of our guest conductors was Dr. Mallory Thompson from Northwestern University.

After the concert, the stage was mobbed by young musicians wanting to talk with the Soldiers.  SSG Rob Marino does some coaching.

The Field Band is on the road about 1/3 of each and every year.  This means leaders often conduct counseling and coaching sessions in non-traditional settings.  SGM Tom Enokian and SFC Brian Spurgeon chat before a concert.

MSG Bill Gabbard, our announcer, is sort of the glue that holds shows together.  MSG Gabbard hails from American Samoa.

SSG Meghan Whittier sings to a capacity audience in Lafayette, IN.

And SSG Kevin Walko performs a medley of Artie Shaw songs.

There's lots of gear but no one has more than SFC Chad Martin.  He performs on as many as four different types of large clarinet in every concert.

 Check out upcoming free performances at and follow as friends and fans comment at www/ and  Iowa next!!

1 Comment

  • kalen
    4/19/2010 12:53 PM
    Absolutely gorgeous photos! I love reading your posts. Keep 'em coming.

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