Army

February 21, 2014

Army Band in demand

Tags:
Gabrielle Kuholski
Staff Writer

The Military Intelligence Corps Band’s brass quintet performs during an evening Memorial Day ceremony in the Southern Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery. The band often performs in small ensembles focusing on a particular genre of music.

The Military Intelligence Corps Band, or MI Corps Band, is the only active duty band in Arizona, and they are highly requested for military ceremonies and community events.

Aside from its popularity on and off post, over the years, Army bands have evolved to meet the needs of their audience, and the MI Corps Band is no different. Fort Huachuca’s Army band was formerly known as the 36th Army Band. On June 14, 2011, it was reactivated as the 62nd Army Band.

Although it remains the 62nd Army Band, the public name has changed further to the MI Corps Band. This designation came from the U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry the same day it became the 62nd Army Band. Chief Warrant Officer Tom Bauer, MI Corps Band commander, explained that the reason for the name change is due to the band’s assignment to the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, or USAICoE.

“We’re here to be the strategic outreach for USAICoE, in whatever direction they want to deem necessary,” Bauer said. “Basically, [the name] connects us to the population and the demographic that we’re here to support.”

As names change, so does the style of music. Staff Sgt. Ronni Hinkle, MI Corps Band, said that 15 years ago, marching bands and concert bands were the Army standard. However, the focus has changed to using small groups of musicians who play the same type of instrument or various genres of music.

“Certainly, Iraq and Afghanistan have shaped a lot of that,” Hinkle said. “We put small, popular [music] groups out on the road and they entertain troops, so it’s a very different mission than 15 years ago.”

The MI Corps Band’s small groups currently include two brass quintets, a flute and piano duo, woodwind, rock, and jazz ensembles and the Dixieland ensemble known as the “San Pedro River Ramblers.” This also enables different sections of the band to play at the same time in multiple venues at far less cost to the Army.

While the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Corps Band is known for one thing — playing music — there’s more to the song. Hinkle debunks the myth that the only task band members have is to perform. “Number one, we are Soldiers,” he said, adding that the band is required to follow all Army duties and Soldier training and mission requirements.

An Army band member’s military occupation specialty, or MOS, is music. After they attend basic training, members attend the Army School of Music on Joint Base Little Creek in Virginia Beach, Va. The school provides a 10-week, intensive music performance course for Army musicians.

Military Intelligence Corps Band Soldiers practice their marching skills in the parking lot next to Army Community Service on Fort Huachuca. In addition to performing sitting down, the Soldiers occasionally march in parades, such as the Sierra Vista Christmas Light Parade which took place in December.

Besides their Army musical training, many of the Soldiers already have a higher education degree in music or a performance degree. According to Hinkle, some Soldiers have already earned their doctorate.

“The Army Band field tends to lead the way in the percentage of people with degrees,” he said. “For decades [the Army] has been one of the go-to places for music majors. A lot of people use [Army band experience] as a stepping stone to work up to bigger and better things.”

Hinkle gave two examples of how joining the Army can advance a Soldier’s musical career: a Soldier- musician auditioning for The United States Army Band, “Pershing’s Own,” or retiring from the Army to play full-time for a symphony.

With these “open doors” to other musical opportunities, Army bandsmen have one other decision to make — which instrument to play.

Multi-instrumentalists are prevalent in the Army Band field, Hinkle said he is a multiple musician himself, having the ability to play the clarinet, banjo and saxophone. He can also sing.

For musicians like Spc. Jacob Beyer, MI Corps Band and top contender in the recent Best Warrior Competition on Fort Huachuca, the ability to play multiple instruments comes from his background in music education. Beyer noted while he is most comfortable playing any type of saxophone, because of his training, he can also play any string or wind instrument.

Beyer said being an instrumentalist can also help an individual become a better Soldier.

“Being a musician in general, we have to pay such attention to detail, it helps us in our training,” he explained. “We can bring that same level of attentiveness to our training, being able to pay attention [and] pick up things more easily … it definitely helps.”

MI Corps Band upcoming events
The MI Corps Band will hold its first concert of the year Sunday, 2 p.m., at the Ethel Berger Center, 2950 E. Tacoma St., Sierra Vista. The band will celebrate “Fat Tuesday” early with Mardis Gras-themed music from their Dixieland ensemble.

On March 23, the MI Corps Band returns to the Ethel Berger Center to present “The History of Jazz” featuring the jazz ensemble. The band will feature a chamber music recital at the same location on April 27. Both performances start at 2 p.m.

MI Corps Band Soldiers will partner with the Old Arizona Brass Band May 1 at 6:30 p.m. in Veterans’ Memorial Park in Sierra Vista. The Old Arizona Brass Band is a re-enactment band of the 4th Calvary Regimental Band. Their attire, instruments and music reflect the 19th and early 20th century time periods. Veterans’ Memorial Park is located at 3105 E. Fry Blvd., Sierra Vista. For more information on upcoming concerts and appearances, visit www.music.army.mil/performances/.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Clay and Laura Murray

First major Arizona wildfire of 2014 burns in Huachuca Mountains

Clay and Laura Murray This photo of the Brown Fire was taken on Monday evening from Mott Circle on Fort Huachuca. As of Fort Huachuca Scout press time Thursday, firefighters were still working to contain it. A wildfire, the Bro...
 
 

FH renewable energy project to provide approximately 25 percent of installation’s annual electricity requirement

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Army announced Monday plans to start development of a solar array that will provide about 25 percent of the annual installation electricity requirement of Fort Huachuca. “This will be the largest solar array in the Department of Defense on a military installation,” according to the Honorable Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary...
 
 

2014 Army Earth Day message

On April 22, the United States Army joins the Nation in celebrating Earth Day. Army Earth Day provides us an opportunity to renew our commitment to stewardship of the environment and the lands where our Soldiers, Families and Civilians train, live and work. Army Earth Day aims to inspire awareness and appreciation of the environment....
 

 
Gabrielle Kuholski

Post celebrates Days of Remembrance with observance ceremony, discussion panels

Gabrielle Kuholski William Heidner, museum curator for the Museum Activity and Heritage Center of the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma, Ariz., receives a Buffalo Soldier statuette from Col. Jeffrey Jennings, U.S. Army Intell...
 
 
Maranda Flynn

AAFES making small changes for customer satisfaction

Maranda Flynn L&A Southern Style Bar-B-Q, currently located inside Armed Forces Bank, will be relocating to the food court inside the Fort Huachuca Exchange in the next few months. It will replace Manchu Wok, which is clos...
 
 
Courtesy of Glenn Gaskins

Son of Army retirees is top of his league

Courtesy of Glenn Gaskins Najee Gaskins, 16, participates in the Arizona Junior Fall Classic, a baseball showcase held last October in Peoria, Ariz. Playing second base position, he ranks number four in the state and 60th in th...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin