399th Army Band preps ‘Holidays in Hollywood’ Print E-mail
Wednesday, 29 November 2017
The 399th Army Band conducts a technical rehearsal Monday for the upcoming “Holidays in Hollywood” concert series, which debuts Dec. 9 in Baker Theater.

Concert series begins Dec. 9 at Baker Theater

Story and photos by Matt Decker
Assistant editor
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Their holiday concert will only last about an hour, but the 40 members of the 399th Army Band have spent many hours — months, in fact — getting every note ready and every nuance just right.

Spc. Princess Rodriguez, 399th Army Band vocalist, performs “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” during a technical rehearsal held Monday in Baker Theater.
“It’s a culmination of six months of work for us,” explained 1st Sgt. James Freeman. “Ordinarily, we begin the planning process in the April-May time frame. It’s one of the highlights of the year for us.”

The new show, “Holidays in Hollywood” is more than a concert. The band will perform a variety of music made famous by classic holiday films both recent and not-so-recent. While the band plays, images and clips from the movies themselves will be projected behind them on a large screen. The result is a multimedia experience that combines nostalgic movie moments with the power of a live performance.

On Monday afternoon, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Benjamin McMillan, 399th Army Band commander, directed the band through their first technical rehersal. He made notes as they played of music from the score of the 1990 comedy “Home Alone.” Syncing their performance with a montage from the film took multiple tries before moving on to the next sequence.  

“We do the heavy lifting today, so we don’t have to do it tomorrow,” McMillan told his players.

Freeman said audiences can also expect, scenes from “‘The Nightmare Before Christmas,’ and maybe some scenes from movies the older generation will be familiar and enjoy, including ‘White Christmas.’”

“We’re excited to bring a wide array of Hollywood classics to the Fort Leonard Wood area. We’re basically bringing Hollywood to Fort Leonard Wood,” he added.

This is the third holiday concert for Spc. Kaila Moonan, a flutist with the band who has worked on gathering and coordinating the visual media for the concert.

“It’s a lot of preparation,” she said. “I  love the visual aspect combined with the musical aspect. It’s probably my favorite part of these concerts.”

“Holidays in Hollywood,” will its debut at 1 p.m. Dec. 9 in Baker Theater on post. The band will then take the show on the road. They are scheduled to perform at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Cowan Civic Center Theater in Lebanon, and at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 15 at the historic Gillioz Theatre in Springfield, Missouri.

With all three shows, admission is free.

For more information about “Holidays in Hollywood” or about the 399th Army Band, visit the band’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/399tharmyband.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 14 December 2017 )