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THE UNITED STATES ARMY FIELD BAND
 FORT MEADE, MARYLAND -

The Beat Marches On

By Courtney Hudson
The Sedalia Democrat

News story photo
Photo credit: SFC Rob McIver
The Army Field Band and Soldiers' Chorus rolls into Sedalia with a potent musical attack.

The U.S. Army Field Band and Soldiers’ Chorus gave a stunning performance Wednesday night to a full house at the Smith-Cotton High School Auditorium, featuring music from John Philip Sousa, Mozart and Tchaikovsky.

Sgt. 1st Class Laura Dause Lesche has been performing with the Soldiers’ Chorus for 10 years. Lesche sings soprano in the chorus and said this is an opportunity to serve her country and use her musical talent. “It’s nice to get a feel for the local communities across the country,” Lesche said.

The wave of ever-growing sound as the musicians warmed up in perfect harmony prepared the audience for the show to come. The band started promptly at 7 p.m. featuring a patriotic prologue, followed by “The Gallant Seventh” by John Philip Sousa.

Lena Jackson, of Sedalia, said she always tries to watch the military bands perform when they come to Sedalia. “It’s fantastic. The brass is very good,” Jackson said.

The band, the official touring musical representative of the Army, has been traveling the world since 1946. The band’s mission is to travel through the grass roots of America and tell the story of the Army.

The show featured a section showcase highlighting each section of the nearly 100-member band. Band members took the stage front and center during the showcase. Two drummers played blindfolded with ease and coordinated their exact strokes to hit their sticks in the air together. Musicians performed “Flight of the Bumblebee” while wearing antenna headbands on their head.

The band travels the country anywhere from 100 to 110 days per year. All of the members are in the Active Army.

Gloria Close, of Green Ridge, said she was amazed by how talented the performers are. “It’s nice to have this caliber of people in Sedalia,” Close said.

The show was sponsored by The Sedalia Democrat and featured vocal and instrumental soloists and duets. Lesche and Sgt. 1st Class Samuel Chung performed an animated duet from “Die Zauberflöte” by Mozart. The singers acted out their love on stage while hitting every note with ease. Lois Kuhns, of Sedalia, thought the performance was “phenomenal.” “I’m really surprised. I didn’t realize we would see some opera pieces,” Kuhns said.

After the intermission, musicians did an armed forces salute and ended the show with “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” “I would absolutely see them again,” Kuhns said.

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