1st ID Band to perform Dec. 17 at KSU
First Sgt. Allen Freeman, the 1st Inf. Div. Band's former first sergeant, reads a traditional tale of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" during the band's 2007 holiday concert at McCain Auditorium. This year, 1st Inf. Div. Command Sgt. Maj. Jim Champagne will read the classic holiday tale.

FORT RILEY, Kan. - Some people believe music evokes memories, especially around the holidays as people remember both loved ones who aren't present and warm Family memories from when they were children.

The 1st Infantry Division Band will be helping to evoke those memories Dec. 17 at Kansas State University's McCain Auditorium during their holiday concert, "Together for the holidays, if only in our hearts..."

The music will start even before the show, with a mallet band in the McCain foyer and the 1st Inf. Div. Brass Band on stage.

During the program, various divisions of the band will play, moving from more contemporary to traditional songs.

Starting the show will be the Victory 8 Rock Band, playing selections from Celine Dion and The Brian Setzer Orchestra, among others.

Following Victory 8, the Jazz Combo will play music from artists such as Irving Berlin.

Once the jazz band finishes its set, the Stage Band will take over to play, among other things, "White Christmas," which will feature a surprise guest vocalist.

Even the intermission will involve music as the Flint Hills Masterworks Choir takes the stage.

After the break, the Concert Band, directed by the band's new commander and conductor, Chief Warrant Officer Jeremiah M. Keillor, will play more traditional music, including music to go along with the reading of "Twas the Night Before Christmas," by 1st Inf. Div. Command Sgt. Maj. Jim Champagne.

"It's rewarding," said Staff Sgt. Samantha Lee, flutist, about performing the holiday show.

"Getting to play, especially a concert like this where you have a chance to do what Army bands are supposed to do and take music to the American public, is a very rewarding experience," Keillor said.

Lee said her favorite part of a concert or show is when people come up and share a special story or memory the music played by the band evoked.

Both Soldiers estimated the Fort Riley band plays more than 200 events a year, which require multiple rehearsals, as well as putting out flyers and programs for the shows.

"Band Soldiers work hard," Keillor said.

Since Keillor is new to post, he recently had his first rehearsal with the band, which he said was a lot of fun.

Keillor said he sees the 1st Inf. Div. Band as a way to represent the Soldiers of Fort Riley, whether they currently are deployed or at home.

The band provides a great opportunity for people with no military ties to see what life in the Army is like for Soldiers and their Families, he said.

"Our job is to be ambassadors for the Army," Keillor said.

Tickets for the holiday concert is free and available through the Information, Ticketing and Registration office, Building 6918 across from the Post Exchange.

People who would like to attend the concert can pick up tickets from the McCain box office Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. or place a telephone order at 785-532-6428.

Page last updated Fri December 12th, 2008 at 18:59