Dec. 12, 2009

29th Army Band shares the gift of holiday music with Virginia communities

Staff Reports

RICHMOND, Va. The Virginia National Guard's 29th Army Band shared the sounds of the holiday season with the Colonial Heights and Richmond communities during the third annual Holiday Concert Series Dec. 4-5.

  2009 Holiday Concerts

The 29th Army Band performs during the Virginia National Guard's third annual Holiday Concert Series Dec. 5 in Richmond. (Photo by Maj. Cotton Puryear, Virginia Guard Public Affairs) For more photos, please visit the Virginia Guard Flickr page.


2009 Holiday Concerts

Warrant Officer Donald Carlson leads the 29th Army Band during the holiday concert Dec. 5 at Saint Paul’s Baptist Church in Richmond. (Photo by Maj. Cotton Puryear, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

 

2009 Holiday Concerts
Vocalists (L-R) Chelsey Helms, Melissa Carter, Tina Harrison, Capt. Clay Blevins and Cindy Blevins join the 29th Army Band for this year's holiday concerts. (Photo by Maj. Cotton Puryear, Virginia Guard Public Affairs) 

The three free concerts were hosted by Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Colonial Heights Dec. 4, Hunter Holmes McGuire Veteran’s Hospital on Dec. 5 and Saint Paul’s Baptist Church in Richmond on Dec. 5.

"These celebrations are the Adjutant General's way of saying 'Thank you' to the families and communities," said Col. Thom Morgan, Virginia National Guard director of manpower and personnel. "It is our gift to them for their commitment and continued patriotic support to the Commonwealth's Soldiers and Airmen."

The events featured holiday music, activities for children, a visit from Santa Claus and refreshments.
“This is the Virginia National Guard's way of saying thank you to Virginia's citizens for their continued patriotic support to the commonwealth's Soldiers and Airmen,” said 1st Sgt. Fred Lewis, 29th Army band first sergeant.

The band performed a variety of holiday songs, such as “White Christmas,” “O Holy Night,” “The Christmas Song,” “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” and Christmas Eve/Sarajevo.” Each concert ended with an audience sing along capped off by an appearance from Santa Claus.

“It’s a great opportunity for us as a band to play music that we wouldn’t normally get to play,” said Lewis, “We get a chance to accompany vocalists in a different setting and for a different type of audience.”

Five vocalists joined the band for the performances- Capt. Clay Blevins, commander of Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, 116th Brigade Combat Team and his wife Cindy, Tina Harrison, Chelsey Helms and Melissa Carter.

Following the concerts, guests and band members gathered for refreshments and visits with Santa.

For more photos, please visit the Virginia Guard Flickr page.

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