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The United States Army Band "Pershing’s Own" performed their American Holiday Festival show for Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region and the U.S. Army Military District of Washington staff and family at Brucker Hall, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Dec. 6.
The show served as the final rehearsal for the band before performing the American Holiday Festival to the general public. The American Holiday Festival takes place through Dec. 15, with all shows at Brucker Hall.
"The process started a year ago with collecting potential song titles. The tunes were selected and a concept was laid out in February. The next seven months were spent gaining permissions to arrange the songs, writing the orchestra and vocal arrangements and auditioning for roles," said Col. Thomas H. Palmatier, leader and commander of the United States Army Band. "In October we recorded the music accompaniments to let the vocalists have something to rehearse with. We had our first rehearsal a week ago. One of the big challenges was fitting our preparation in along with the rehearsals, sound checks and performance at the National Christmas Tree Lighting telecast with the first family."
The show featured festive songs such as "Deck the Halls," "It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," "Jingle Bells" and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town."
"I was pleased with everything our Soldiers did at the dress rehearsal," said Palmatier. "They put on a great show, and it also gave us a list of some things we need to tweak to make it even better."
The U.S. Army Band "Pershing’s Own" has been the premier musical organization of the U.S. Army since 1922. Army Chief of Staff Gen. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing founded the band, emulating the European military bands he had heard during the First World War. "Pershing’s Own" continues to play an important role in events of national and international significance at home and abroad.
All shows for this year’s American Holiday Festival were sold out. However, patrons who were unable to get tickets are welcome to walk-in 15 minutes prior to show time on the day of the show, if space is available.