KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany - U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz and the city of Kaiserslautern sponsored a German-American Friendship Concert to celebrate their harmonious partnership at the Fruchthalle, Oct. 3.
The United States Army Europe Band and Chorus played for a sold-out auditorium of nearly 600 guests for the event's fifth year in a row, delighting the audience with a wide range of music from classical, contemporary and show tunes that had listeners dancing in their seats.
"This concert helps to build bridges between our communities as it is a symbol of friendship and partnership," said Garrison Commander Col. Jason T. Edwards in his opening remarks. "It celebrates the long-standing relationships we've developed throughout the years and gives us an opportunity to interact as friends and neighbors. This is our opportunity to say thank you to this great city which provides a home away from home to our Soldiers, civilians and families and selfless, generous hospitality for the many Americans in the greater Kaiserslautern region."
Col. Edwards also highlighted the concert date as falling on the German federal holiday of Reunification Day as a symbol of coming together and serving as a positive example for close relations.
To commemorate the event, the commander presented gifts of an engraved music sheet on a music stand to both the band and to the Kaiserslautern Lord Mayor Dr. Klaus Weichel.
"What a great show, as always," Dr. Weichel said, addressing the crowd. "We are very thankful that we are able to put on this event in partnership with our American friends. It gets better every year."
In the 70 years that the armed forces have been in the Kaiserslautern area, many friendships have formed, he said and Germany and the United States have grown together in a very special way here in the region, which has made it a unique place to work and live.
One of the guests, military historian from Mannheim, Dr. Christian Führer, remarked, "The USAREUR Band and Chorus was, as always, a veritable blast, and people visibly enjoyed themselves. What I personally admire the most about this ensemble is its unique ability to cover a wide range of very different musical styles and assemble everything under the umbrella of one performance. The passion of both instrumentalists and vocalists was tangible throughout the concert. These wonderful people really enjoy what they're doing and succeed in spreading tons of good mood and joy."