Guest choir brings essential 'Joy' to season's first 'Concert on the Green'
June 4, 2009
A special guest performance by the "Essence of Joy" gospel choir added soul to the 2nd Infantry Division Band's first "Concert on the Green" of the season the evening of May 27 at the Village Green on Camp Red Cloud.
The gospel choir - part of the Pennsylvania State College of Arts and Architecture - seemed enthusiastic about its performance before approximately 100 2nd ID Soldiers, Family members and Korean neighbors.
"We tour around the world to sing," said Mark Nixon, a member of the choir. "It's very good to be here because we can give Soldiers some joy."
The concert was the first of a series held regularly and designed to enhance morale and community spirit as well as musical appreciation.
"It is a monthly event," said Sgt. Roger Capote, a 2nd ID chaplain's assistant. "It is meant to bring the local community and the 2nd Infantry Division together."
Guests for the inaugural concert of the season included in-processing Soldiers from the Warrior Readiness Center on Camp Stanley. The new Warriors were welcomed warmly by host agencies and fellow concert-goers. Organizers considered the concert an ideal integration event.
"I expect that Soldiers from WRC will assimilate into the community with the great music we have," said Capote.
Band members, staff from the 2nd ID chaplain's office and the rest of the Warrior team made the WRC Soldiers feel comfortable in their new home. A free barbeque meal provided by the 2nd ID Commanding General's Mess lifted morale and tantalized taste buds. The festivities also included a lottery, with winning Soldiers receiving coupons worth $25 at AAFES facilities.
The 2nd ID "Warrior" Band opened the concert. The Division musicians were joined by Essence of Joy performers as the concert progressed. The audience - seated and sprawled on chairs and the lawn according to preference - responded enthusiastically to the dynamic presentation by the gospel choir.
The 2nd ID Band and the choir joined forces for patriotic numbers. The Warrior Band closed with a traditional Korean folk song called "Arirang" and the official song of the 1988 Seoul Olympics, called "Hand in Hand." The song emphasized the Army's strong relationship with the local community.
The Soldiers, Family members and local Koreans gave all the performers a standing ovation as the concert concluded.
The musicians seemed as pleased with the event as the organizers.
"We perform music and music lifts Soldiers' morale and emotions," said Chief Warrant Officer 4 William Brazier, the commander of the 2nd ID Band. "And we are proud of making people happy."
CUTLINE: Members of "Essence of Joy," a gospel choir from Penn State College of Arts and Architecture, perform May 27 on Camp Red Cloud's Village Green. The performance was the first in the "Concert on the Green" summer series, which offers free shows to Soldiers, Family members and locals.