By Spc. Collin MacKown
4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office
PUEBLO, Colo.— The 15th annual Festival of Winds took place Feb. 9-11, 2023, at Colorado State University – Pueblo. Students from across the state of Colorado came together to display their skills through concerts, learn new skills through classes, and learn about musical opportunities through participating organizations. The 4th Infantry Division Band took this as an opportunity to branch out and participate in the festival by having a concert at Colorado State University for the high school students.
“I think this is a great way to show students that there is a life in music after high school,” said John Lemme, assistant director of the Festival of Winds.
Lemme is not only the assistant director but is also a prior Marine who played in the Marine Band for four years. When Lemme was in high school at the 3rd annual Festival of Winds, he experienced the 4th Inf. Div. Band play, inspiring his journey into music in the military.
“Moments like this really inspired me,” said Lemme. “I have a life and a family now that would not be here if it wasn't for military music.”
The 4th Inf. Div. Band does many performances and takes pride in making Colorado feel more like home. Since March is nationally recognized as the month for music in schools, the 4th Inf. Div. Band plans to reach out to more than 30 schools for community events. These schools range from elementary all the way to college. The performances will be smaller scale than the Festival of Winds to maximize the number of areas Soldiers will be playing.
“Our musicians are very passionate about reaching out to students because we were all students once,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Mike Becker, conductor of the 4th Inf. Div. Band. “I think it's important that we do events like this where we are enriching the people around us, supporting the local culture and really giving back. I think that's what's important about the Army.”
The 4th Inf. Div. Band plans on continuing community outreach in the future.