Sousa, the "March King" featured with the 23rd Army Band at community concerts

The 23rd Army Band has just completed a memorable year supporting communities and commands throughout the state. This included performances and parades in communities from Montezuma Creek to Brigham City

In November the band began another 50-year tradition by presenting the 51st annual Veterans Day concert on November 11, 2006, adding another year to the longest running Veterans Day celebration in the nation. The concert featured former 23rd Army Band member Jerry Floor on the Clarinet which culminated with a foot stomping rendition of the swing era throwback "Sing Sang Sung.".

A highlight of many of the community concerts was the guest appearance of John Phillip Sousa to conduct the Band in a few of his favorite pieces which included more than just the marches that made him famous.

Impersonating a 19th century Marine Band Commander is just one of the many talents demonstrated by CW3 Cottam in his roles in the community and as the conductor of the 23rd Army Band. In June Mr. Cottam was awarded the Bronze Minuteman by the Honorary Colonels Corps of the Utah National Guard. This prestigious award recognized his service in the community as an educator, counselor and prevention specialist with students and families touched by abuse, violence, HIV AIDS, and loss. In addition to his duties as the band commander, Mr. Cottam has served for the past three years as the director of the Utah National Guard Freedom Academy

The 23rd Army Band is moving forward and growing in strength with the addition of several talented new musicians. Current preparations are underway by the Jazz and Rock bands for the annual Military Ball at the end of March and of course the start of another spring and summer supporting community events and parades throughout the state. In June the band will be combining its talents with the 25th Army Band from the Idaho National Guard for a combined concert at the newly renovated Tabernacle on Temple Square. Watch for concerts in your area and join us as we carry forward the great musical traditions of the armed forces and the Utah National Guard.

By SFC Bryce Bird, 23rd Army Band

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