Free concerts Monday in Lebanon, Tuesday on post
Audiences can enjoy the sounds of the holidays performed big-band style during two upcoming concerts by the 399th Army Band.
The band will perform “Merry Memories” at 7 p.m. Monday at the Cowan Civic Center, 500 East Elm Street, in Lebanon, followed by a second performance at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Fort Leonard Wood’s Main Post Chapel, located at the corner of Minnesota and Constitution avenues on the installation.
Both performances are free and open to the public.
Billed as “a traditional family holiday concert,” audiences can expect to hear several familiar favorites, although some may come with a twist, according to the band’s director, Warrant Officer Michael Becker.
“We’re going to focus a lot on some holiday classics, and a lot of those classics came out of the 1940s and 50s, which was the era of the big band,” Becker said.
“It’s not necessarily just going to be jazz. We’re going to throw in some standard classics, some holiday carols, along with some re-imagined versions, as well,” he continued. “We’re really looking forward to doing something a little bit traditional, something that people are familiar with and something that’s great for the whole family.”
The 399th Army Band musicians will have some help on stage by area youth choirs. At Monday’s event in Lebanon, the Boswell Elementary School Children’s Choir will take the stage, while the Rolla Middle School Choir will perform with the band at Tuesday’s concert on post.
“We really love to have the kids out there join us,” Becker said. “It’s a great way for us to partner with them, to give them a platform and to show them how we partner with the community.”
The 399th Army Band is the oldest continually serving unit on Fort Leonard Wood. Like all their concerts, the tradition of performing holiday music in the area is something current band members take seriously, Becker said.
“We really have been serving this community longer than any other unit, and that’s really something we take pride in and something we try to live up to every day,” he added.
More information about the 399th Army Band is available online at https://www.facebook.com/399thArmyBand.