Eighth Army Band celebrates 60th anniversary
The Eighth Army Band celebrated its 60th anniversary on Yongsan Garrison Nov. 8.

YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea - "The show must go on" is the motto of the Eighth Army Band and it has gone on for 60 years.

Eighth Army Band Soldiers gathered inside the Band Hall here Nov. 8 to enjoy a day of karaoke, horseshoes, board games and food in celebration of the 8th Army Band's 60th anniversary.

The celebration, which was initially scheduled to be a day of sports activities at Collier Field House, was moved inside the Band Hall because of weather conditions.

Sgt. 1st Class Vannessa Barrett, the band administrative noncommissioned officer in-charge and flute player, said this is the first time she has celebrated a band's birthday.

Barrett served in five other Army bands before coming to the 8th Army band.

"A lot of soldiers weren't aware today was the band's birthday," said Barrett. "This was a good idea."

Along with taking time out to commemorate the band's 60th birthday, Soldiers also got a break from the band's hectic schedule.

On average, the band fulfills five performance commitments a week.

1st Sgt. James Thaxter, 8th Army Band first sergeant and trumpet player, said the Soldiers needed a break from their high profile missions the band completed this year. The birthday celebration helped boost Soldiers' morale.

Korean Augmentee to the United States Army Pvt. Lee Sang-hoon, a KATUSA vocalist in the 8th Army Band, said it was good to see everyone come together outside of their jobs.

The band is celebrating its 60th anniversary during the same year that the Korean War is being remembered on its 60th annivesary.

"It's a wonderful thing," said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Dewayne Kendricks, 8th Army Band commander.
"The band has been protecting freedom in the Republic of Korea since the beginning."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16