By Mr. Bryan Gatchell (Benning)December 13, 2018
FORT BENNING, Ga. (Dec. 13, 2018) - The Maneuver Center of Excellence Band is inviting members of the Chattahoochee Valley communities to their annual holiday concert Dec. 15 at the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts in downtown Columbus, Georgia.
This free, ticketed concert begins at 7:30 p.m., and the performance includes classical and popular holiday standards, excerpts from The Nutcracker by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and The Grinch (2018) by Danny Elfman, and more.
Capt. Aaron Morris, commander of the band, emphasized that this is an opportunity to give back to the communities who support Fort Benning.
"We use the holidays as a great reason to get together both the Fort Benning community and the community with our partners in the Chattahoochee Valley region," he said. "It's a great opportunity for us to all come together and celebrate. And it's a festive event full of great holiday music that we all love."
He also said that this event is a family-friendly event. Fort Benning elementary school choir students will be on stage singing the traditional song "The Twelve Days of Christmas." During a reading of Clement Clarke Moore's "A Visit from St. Nicholas," popularly known by its first line "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," children from the audience are invited on stage.
"We encourage children to come out," he said. "The kids are going to be involved. We have kids singing, we're going to invite children up on stage. So it's definitely something the little ones will enjoy."
Tickets to the event are available through Morale, Welfare and Recreation Tickets and Travel, which is located next to the Commissary or are available from the RiverCenter box office. Concertgoers can attend without tickets but must wait until 15 minutes before the show starts, giving them limited seating options compared to ticketed concertgoers. MCoE Band 1st Sgt. Hubert W. Holmes recommended getting tickets and being there when doors open at 6:30 p.m.
"If you have a ticket, you get in earlier and you get the seat you're looking for," Holmes said. "It's open seating, but you need to get there early."
Arriving even earlier than when doors open offers another benefit. Army combat photographers are scheduled to be on hand to provide Families portraits. While the concert takes place, the photographers will post the photos to the MCoE Band Facebook page, available for families to download after the event.
This is one in a series of concerts the band is performing. They are holding a holiday concert in Macon, Georgia, at the Grand Opera House at 7 p.m. Dec. 12. They have also held a concert Dec. 3 for the Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker, Alabama, and their ensembles played holiday events at Fort Benning, Georgia, including Santa at Riverside Dec. 6 and the annual tower-lighting on Eubanks Field Dec. 7. These holiday performances are in addition to their regular slate of formal performances, such as graduations.
Morris invited community members out to RiverCenter to enjoy and remember holiday melodies and songs they know and enjoy.
"It's an evening concert; it's a beautiful venue," said Morris. "We all have that song that we love hearing and brings back all those memories from Christmases past. So, I hope that we got a lot of the numbers that are really going to touch that spot for the audience."
To pick up your ticket, visit the RiverCenter box office downtown Columbus or MWR Tickets and Trips at Fort Benning.
To learn more about the MCoE Band, visit the "Related Links" section on this page.