By STEVE REEVES, Fort Jackson LeaderDecember 10, 2009
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Several hundred Soldiers, family members and civilians packed into the Solomon Center Sunday evening to get a good dose of Christmas spirit, courtesy of the 282nd Army Band.
The 282nd's annual Christmas concert included a number of familiar holiday tunes such as "Here Come the Reindeer" and "Jingle Bells," as well as ones tailored to a military audience, such as "The 12 Days of Basic Combat Training."
Chaplain (Col.) Sam Boone, commandant of the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School, said he first attended the annual concert as a young Soldier going through basic training at Fort Jackson in 1972. He attended Sunday's concert with family and friends.
"This is always a holiday treat for me," Boone said.
The band's musical selections were well received by the audience, especially "Santa Baby," performed by Sgt. Jessica Thayer and "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," performed by Staff Sgt. Brian Hall.
The hourlong concert culminated with a crowd-pleasing medley of sing-along that included "Here Comes Santa Claus" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," as well as an appearance by Santa Claus himself.
Fort Jackson's deputy commander, Col. Kevin Shwedo, reminded the audience of the Soldiers who are serving overseas, as well as their family members.
"I ask that you remember all of the Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan during the holiday season," Shwedo said.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Scott MacDonald, commander of the 282nd Band, said performing at the holidays is one of the annual highlights for band members.
"It's very special for us to be here," MacDonald said. "We have such a great time playing music and we're happy to share that with the Fort Jackson community, as well as the greater Columbia community."