By Jim Dresbach, Pentagram Staff WriterSeptember 27, 2013
JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. - Large amounts of wide eyes, blowing and toe-tapping were evident at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall's Brucker Hall Sept. 21.
The percussion, brass, woodwind and string sections of The U.S. Army Band, "Pershing's Own," and The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps assembled for a children's concert and petting corral where kids from two to 62 were encouraged to wet a reed or shake a maraca.
Approximately 250 adults and 75 kids attended the hands-on event and concert. Petting corral stations were accompanied by band members and their instruments of expertise.
"We haven't done this for about ten years. This is my first time since I've been in the band that we've done this event," said Staff Sgt. Jennifer Lissak, petting corral coordinator and TUSAB clarinetist. "This is being done to introduce children to different musical instruments. Sometimes kids will see one or two here or there. Kids may have seen a guitar, or my kids have seen the clarinet, but maybe they haven't seen a trumpet or haven't played the violin or maracas. I want this to be a musical petting zoo."
The musical petting zoo goal was successful. Children - and adults - roamed the Brucker Hall lobby and pressed fingers to keys and made close-up inspections of a TUSAB bugle, string instruments and a guitar, among other instruments used for ceremonial purposes on the joint base and inside Arlington National Cemetery.
Following the musical zoo experience, audience members learned some American and Pershing's Own history through music, what type of instruments entertained the first continental troops and celebrated the upcoming National Anthem bicentennial.