You’re going to a Time Out – It’s more fun than you think

By Jonathan E. Agee
The United States Army Field Band

News story photo
Photo credit: Jonathan E. Agee
The musical ensemble Time Out performs Feb. 2 in Glen Burnie, Md. for the students of Faith Baptist Child Development Center. The concert is part of The United States Army Field Band’s ongoing effort to reach Americans in the community with the Army Story.
FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. – Even before members of the ensemble Time Out arrived, the children of Faith Baptist Child Development Center were already excited.

“One class saw the truck come and go – they’re two-years-old, but they’re just so excited about the truck alone,” said Colleen Collins, director of the school. “It’s a moment. When they see what comes off the truck … It’s going to be so much fun for them. And that’s just the two-year-old class. The older children understand music. We have little musical instruments they play and that type of thing.”

Time Out performed at the school Feb. 2 as part of The United States Army Field Band’s ongoing effort to reach the community with the Army Story.

This venue, however, was a little different than the typical Army Field Band performance. To start, the majority of audience members were between the ages of two to six, so the music was appropriately selected. Instead of hearing pieces from John Philip Sousa, the audience was treated to “London Bridges Falling Down” and “This Little Light of Mine.”

Time Out played songs that are familiar to the children so they can sing along and watch the instruments creating sound. “Any time the kids can sing along to one of our songs they have a great time,” said Sgt. Maj. Thomas Enokian, Concert Band percussion group leader.

But the Soldiers also made the concert entertaining for adults by adding a little Army Field Band twist to the selections. “We’ve made sure we have included some things in our program that they [the children]will know; we’re playing ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ and ‘The Three Little Pigs,’ but then we are doing our take on them and making them more interesting, so even the adult ears can appreciate them,” said Sgt. 1st Class Phillip Kiamie, Concert Band percussionist.

The musician’s “take” on the songs included spicing up nursery rhymes and stories with salsa, rock and jazz. The outcome was something enjoyable for everyone.

Mixed in with all the fun and excitement was also a lesson. According to Collins, the music performed by Time Out reinforced what the children are learning in school about rhythms and patterns.

The children were also able to learn the importance of working together to achieve a common goal. “I think they learn a lot about teamwork,” said Master Sgt. Jay Norris, staff arranger. “You see six or seven guys get together and make this incredibly weird compilation of instruments work together and make a really good sound. I think it is really important to teach children that you have to work as a team in order to make something like this sound good.”

Time Out wants to continue reaching young minds throughout the community, but also wants to expand into children’s hospitals and other atypical venues where a formal concert could not be performed.

To request a performance by Time Out, contact The United States Army Field Band’s operations department at field.band@us.army.mil or (301) 677-6586.

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