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U.S. Army band gets into the groove at HCC

September 22, 2008|By HEATHER KEELS

HAGERSTOWN -- The performers were trained soldiers, but there wasn't a single military uniform on stage for the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Band's Red White and Blue Concert Series show at Hagerstown Community College's Alumni Amphitheater Sunday.

There were plenty of sequins, however, not to mention blue jeans, black shirts and one killer pair of shades.

Grooving on guitars, drums and saxophones, the selective military band performed "An Evening of Motown" for an audience of about 150 people who gathered in the amphitheater's seats and in the shade of nearby trees. The crowd tapped its feet to "Papa Was a Rolling Stone," clapped along to "Drift Away" and hooted as a guitarist showed off his dance moves in "Do You Love Me?"

"It brings back a lot of memories," said Cynthia Freeman, 61, who brought her two granddaughters to the concert. The songs, which 9-year-old Madeline Stone had never heard, transported her grandmother back to dances at the height of rock 'n' roll, Freeman said.

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The musicians seemed to be enjoying the selections, too.

"This is good stuff," said Spc. Aaron Morris, 23, of Carroll County, Md., who danced to the music while playing, alternately, an alto sax, a soprano sax and a flute. Morris also took a turn at the microphone Sunday in what he said was his first time singing with the group.

The rock group is one of several ensembles of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Band, which includes more than 60 musicians and performs a wide variety of music, said 2nd Lt. Richard Winkels, the band's executive officer and associate conductor. The band is based at Fort Monroe in Virginia but tours throughout the country each year. It serves as an outreach asset for the Training and Doctrine Command, which supports training, and develops doctrine and standards for the Army, Winkels said.

Red White and Blue Concert Series regulars Craig and Ruth Clevenger of Hagerstown said they enjoyed the show and appreciated that such top-notch musicians chose to lend their talent to the armed forces.

"The thing that impresses me about all of these groups is the talent," Craig Clevenger said. "They've got a tremendous amount of talent."

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