According to Sam and Jim Commenting on things that irk us off, make us laugh out loud or just seem too weird too believe According to Sam and Jim: Army Band Makes Sweet Music

Friday, December 2, 2011

Army Band Makes Sweet Music

Here’s something right about our country – America’s 56th Army I-Corps Band.

Kathleen and I kicked off our 2011 Christmas season by attending the Band’s Soldier’s Rockin’ Holiday Traditions concert at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts in Olympia last night, December 1.

I had seen posters advertising the I-Corps Band concert at Fred Meyer a couple of weeks ago and told Kathleen I wanted to attend. She seemed somewhat skeptical but I said I really would like to go; then she remembered we had heard the I-Corps Band play in the park a couple of summers ago and had really liked them.

Last night we decided that “like” was too mild a term for the Christmas concert the Band gave. It was AWESOME! I seldom ever feel like a performance deserves a standing ovation, but not only did I feel like the I-Corps Band deserved one, I stood up and clapped until my hands hurt. The concert was that good. I had to drag myself to the Performing Arts Center after working all day. I was tired and almost convinced myself I would just as soon stay home to fall asleep in front of the TV, but thank goodness I didn’t do that.

The Band started its program with a set of traditional Christmas numbers accompanied by the Kids in Koncert, a youth choral group founded in 1996 by choir director Troy Arnold Fisher. The kids in the choir ranged in age from 8 to 18 years of age and I heard a couple of voices in there – especially sopranos – that would put some adults to shame. Those youthful voices and the bouncing, blaring brass of the Band nearly brought tears to my eyes. Talk about starting off strong.

Then the concert just kept getting better. The Band even performed a few rock-n-roll sets featuring Army men and women vocalists. One Sergeant sang a raucous version of Jingle Bell Rock. Another sergeant performed a pretty good imitation of Elvis singing Blue Christmas. Kathleen was tapping her feet and jiggling around in her seat so much I thought she might get up and start doing the bop! All in all, the concert may well turn out to be the biggest blessing we receive this holiday season.

The history of the I-Corps Band dates all the way back to October of 1938, when the Band became part of the regular Army. The Band was disbanded and reorganized several times during the ensuing years but was assigned to Fort Lewis in November of 1994 and now performs more than 600 missions (concerts) annually on Joint Base Lewis-McChord and throughout the Northwest Region. And make no mistake, the men and women musicians of the I-Corps Band, and their directors are as professional as any member of any band or symphony I’ve ever heard. Those people knew what they were doing with their instruments. The vocalists might have been just a notch below the best American Idol has to offer, but the heart and soul the Band and its vocalists put into their performances makes them winners in my book.

For more information on the I-Corps Band you can "Like" them on Facebook at or visit their website at

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