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Army band offers free performance

From Staff Reports

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As the Army goes rolling along, some of its soldier-musicians soon will roll into Rocky Mount for a free concert.

The Volunteers, a six-soldier ensemble of the U.S. Army Field Band, will perform at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the courtyard of the Imperial Centre.

The concert is sponsored by the Rocky Mount Telegram.

“It’s been several years since an armed forces band has been here,” said Jon Noel, the newspaper’s advertising and marketing director and organizer of the concert. “It’s always quality entertainment. ... I’d like to encourage everybody to come out.”

The Volunteers’ tours take the group to the places that Army combat units serve – and more. The ensemble has performed in Kuwait and Iraq, where units have been deployed, plus Canada, Mexico, all 50 U.S. states and Puerto Rico, a release says. In addition to concert hall shows, the ensemble also has played at Summerfest in Milwaukee, Wis., Country USA Music Festival in Oshkosh, Wis., and at the AAA 400 race at Dover International Speedway.

The Rocky Mount concert caps an eight-day tour for The Volunteers, spokesman Jonathan Agee said. The ensemble typically plays a formal concert a day on the road and works in additional acoustic shows at veterans homes and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals as time permits.

As are soldiers in other units, The Volunteers are used to being away from their base, Fort Meade, Md.

“The Volunteers tour more than 100 days each year, bringing a powerful message of patriotism and support to communities large and small,” the release says. “Its members are passionate about representing their fellow soldiers through music.”

And The Volunteers’ music? It’s not just marching songs or patriotic works.

An Army website (reached through bit.ly/VeS8wX) that includes all four of the Field Band’s ensembles shows The Volunteers cover songs by Dave Matthews, Jamie Foxx, The Pussycat Dolls and Lady GaGa.

Other songs the ensemble has been playing on tour this summer include “Time” by Pink Floyd, “Runaway” by Bonnie Raitt and “Cheap Sunglasses” by ZZ Top, Agee said.

“They really have such a wide variety in what they play,” he said. “Audiences leave the concert feeling good about the Army.”

The Volunteers’ performers are Sgt. 1st Class April Boucher and Staff Sgt. Randy Wight, vocalists; Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Lindsey, guitarist-vocalist; Staff Sgt. Brandon Boron, guitarist; Sgt. 1st Class Peter Krasulski, bass; and Staff Sgt. Glenn Robertson, drummer. Backing them up are Master Sgt. John Lamirande as audio engineer and Staff Sgt. James Little as lighting technician, the release says.

In addition to The Volunteers, the Washington-based Field Band has three other ensembles: the Concert Band, the Soldiers’ Chorus and the Jazz Ambassadors. Together, the four groups spend more than 400 days per year traveling and performing.

Tickets are not needed for the concert. Seating is general admission.

For information, call Noel at 407-9922.