First Team Soldiers bring music to school

By Sgt. Angel Turner
1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs Office

News story photo
Photo credit: Sgt. Angel Turner, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs
Spc. Robert McSweeney (right), a musician in the 1st Cav. Div. Band, and other band members perform for students at Timber Ridge Elementary School April 28. The “Maverick Brass” band – the band’s brass quintet – performed various songs for the students as part of the Music in the Schools community relations program.
Soldiers assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division Band brought a musical treat to the students of Timber Ridge Elementary School, April 28.

Five Soldiers that make up the unit’s “Maverick Brass” quintet performed a variety of songs for the students as part of the

military’s “Music in the Schools” program.

“The Music in the Schools program is where the military bands go out to the schools as part of community relations to show the kids what we do in the Army and what we can do as a band,” said Staff Sgt. Paul Menz, noncommissioned officer-in-charge for Maverick Brass.

Menz said the division band performs at many local schools in both Killeen and the neighboring cities of Temple and Copperas Cove to give kids a firsthand look at just what the Army band is all about.

The music that kicked off the performance started out slow, but it picked up when the band played the lively 1st Cavalry Division song, “Garryowen.”

From the Pink Panther theme to music from Star Wars, members of Maverick Brass entertained the students who in return cheered and called out the names of the more familiar songs.

“I thinks it’s important to see it’s more than just music teachers or performers but Soldiers that can make the music come alive,” said Christina Brown, a music teacher at Timber Ridge. “It also shows the variety of the military.”

She explained that since the students are in elementary school, they only get the chance to talk about the instruments but don’t get a chance to play or see them in person unless performers come to the school.

“I think they loved it,” Brown said.

While the band performs at various concerts and parades throughout the year, visiting the school to perform is very important, she said.

“I think it very important, especially since we are a military town,” Brown said.

“It’s another way to bridge the gap between the Families that are scattered throughout the world doing their jobs, putting themselves in danger and sacrificing their Family,” she said. “It kind of puts it all in perceptive, that it’s not all these separate programs but we’re one big Family and music is at the center of it.”

The performance had an impact not just on the students, but on the musicians, as well.

“I felt like a rock star,” said Spc. Robert Mcsweeney, one of the members of Maverick Brass.

Mcsweeney said he felt great to be out in front of the kids but was unsure how they would react to the band. After hearing the cheering from the kids he said his worries went away.

“It’s not about the music or the quality you play,” Mcsweeney said. “They just love the fact that we’re there.”


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