FORT BRAGG, N.C. - The 82nd Airborne Division's woodwind quintet band performed and read stories during the summer reading program at Throckmorton Library on Fort Bragg, North Carolina, June 19, 2019.
The band played songs that relates to the story being read.
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Kathryn Beyer, the non-commissioned officer in charge of the woodwind quintet and the narrator for this event, said they often put together shows for elementary, middle and high schools throughout Fort Bragg and the surrounding area.
"These performances are the highlight of the year for us. When Throckmorton Library requested us to perform for their summer reading series, we were ecstatic," says Beyer. "The children are the best audiences. We get to play really fun music and are able to introduce them to the different instruments."
The Saline, Michigan-native has studied music since she was a little girl.
"I learned how to play the Bassoon when I was 11 years old, my dad plays piano and my sister is a singer," says Beyer. "My parents always said that you need to have something musical and athletic in your life."
The story time musical included theme songs from the movies "The Incredibles", "Peter and the Wolf", "How to Train Your Dragon", "Ferdinand the Bull" and "Pokemon". The children were very familiar with each story and interacted with the music as the band played.
Beyer enlisted as an Army reservist in Michigan and became active in 2013. Since then she has traveled all over the world, performing in places such as Germany, Korea, and all of the U.S.
"It's a great opportunity to make connections with civilians and soldiers in music," says Beyer. " Especially when you're in foreign countries, you get to make international connections"
Not only does Beyer play for the Army, but she also plays with different local organizations wherever she is stationed. She currently plays for the Fayetteville Chamber Orchestra.
This event is special to Beyer because she gets to connect with both of her passions since she has her master's degree in library science.
"The best part of playing in this group is that when we walk through this door everyone is equal," says Spc. Kaila Washington, flute and piccolo player for the band. "Everyone trusts each other and Staff Sgt. Beyer is very good at letting everyone contribute."
Beyer says the amount of personal experience and education in music the band members have shows how passionate they are. Music has always been apart of her life.
"Whats great about this group is we all have advanced degrees in music, there's a lot of educated members who bring a lot of experience to the table," says Beyer. "We don't have to focus on rank, we only focus on the people getting together and making great music and putting the best product forth."
Band members describe Beyer as being a great leader beyond measure and someone who has inspired them in a positive way.
"Working with Staff Sgt. Beyer has really been a great experience," says Spc. Hayley Jensen, clarinet player for the band. "She creates a very welcoming atmosphere. We all joined the Army to play music so the atmosphere is really conducive to how we perform."