Concert celebrates Army's 237th birthday
The 98th Army Band and a local reenactment group perform an Army Streamer Ceremony during a Music Under the Alabama Stars concert last year. The next MUTAS concert, June 22 at 6:30 p.m. at Howze Field, will celebrate the Army's birthday and again feature a Streamer Ceremony that describes the history of the service.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (June 7, 2012) -- As the Army turns 237, the Music Under the Alabama Stars concert series is set to celebrate its birthday with a Streamer Ceremony.

The MUTAS concert series, designed to give participants a place to just relax and listen to music, returns June 22 at 6:30 p.m. to Howze Field.

"This MUTAS event is all about the Army birthday. We're going to do a short patriotic concert to start," said 1st Sgt. Albert E. Kaufmann, 1st Sergeant of the 98th Army "Silver Wings" Band, adding that the Streamer Ceremony will follow afterwards. The ceremony, according to Kaufmann, is a "snapshot of Army history from the beginning."

"Each streamer on the Army flag represents a campaign that the Army has participated in throughout its history," he said, "and the color of the streamer represents a campaign that the Army has participated in throughout history."

Kaufmann, who also plays the trumpet in the 98th Army Band, said that the Streamer Ceremony will be set to music and take people on a musical journey through the history of the Army from the Revolutionary War up to modern times to correspond to each streamer on the flag.

"We'll be playing appropriate music for the era that is represented [by the streamer]," he said. "For the Revolutionary War, we will play [a song] that would have been played during that time, like 'Yankee Doodle.'"

Along with songs being played for the time of each streamer, an overview of the history of the time will also be presented.

"We have to remember what we've gone through to be where we're at right now -- we've got to remember the sacrifices that were made," he said. "The Army birthday is tradition; it's history and it's why we are what we are."

Unlike previous MUTAS performances, the Army birthday concert will feature different music performance teams from the ceremonial band to the rock band, Crossfire.

Crossfire will take the stage after the Streamer Ceremony to entertain the crowd with rock and roll music from different decades up to today's hits, said Kaufmann.

The 98th Army "Silver Wings" Band is made up of different music performance teams: MPT Bravo, which is the ceremonial group that plays graduations and ceremonies; MPT Charlie, better known as Crossfire, which plays rock music and is also broken down into the jazz combo; MPT Delta, which is the blackout brass band; and MPT Echo, which is the brass quintet.

There is a lot of integration between the MPTs, said Kaufmann, and some members play in more than one music performance team, not only out of necessity, but out of their shared love for music, he added.

"We love to play music and this is what we came in [the Army] for. There is no greater honor than to play for the troops. The Army band … tells the Army story and gives everybody a sense of patriotism," said the First Sergeant. "We want everybody to feel good and we want them to forget their troubles for a while … just let everything go and enjoy yourself."

Also in celebration of the Army's birthday, The Landing Zone will serve free cake June 14, according to Janice Erdlitz, Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation marketing director, adding that they will start serving at 11 a.m. until supplies last.

For more information on MUTAS, visit the 98th Army "Silver Wings" Band Facebook page, and for more information on the free cake, call 598-2426.

Page last updated Thu June 7th, 2012 at 00:00