FORT CARSON, Colo. - The 4th Infantry Division Ivy Division Band celebrated the Christmas Spirit hosting the Fort Carson Holiday Concert at McMahon Auditorium for the Mountain Post and greater Colorado Springs communities Dec. 4.
The Ivy Division Band performed classical and contemporary holiday classics during the free concert showcasing musical arrangements and vocal performances celebrating the Christmas spirit.
"This is a special treat for us here tonight during a special time of year," said Maj. Gen. David G. Perkins, commanding general, 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson. "We have the best band in the U.S. Army, playing for the best division and the best audience in the Army - quality musicians, quality Soldiers, playing for a well-deserving audience ... the Soldiers and Family members of the 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson."
Led by Chief Warrant Officer 2 Marvin Cardo, commander and conductor, and 1st Sgt. Cornell Herrington, Division Special Troops Battalion, 4th Inf. Div., the Ivy Division Band played a wide array of holiday favorites ranging from traditional classics, such as "Gesu Bambino/O Holy Night," to musical scores from famous Christmas movies and jazzy renditions of contemporary musicians, like "Must've Been Ol' Santa Claus," by Harry Connick Jr., and "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," written by Theodor Geisel, commonly known as "Dr. Seuss."
Local musicians Sarah Herrington, Ashley Brokovich, Lee Barnes, Tom Champe and Douglas Highfield, also performed as guest musicians with the band during its 16 musical arrangements played in honor of America's Soldiers.
Amy Downing, guest vocalist, lent her musical talents to the evening, singing the "National Anthem," and rock renditions of "Jingle Bells," and the traditional "Little Drummer Boy."
In remembrance of the Soldiers stationed around the world standing watch, guest vocalist Christine Crater, spouse of Spc. Darnell Crater, a tuba player assigned to the Ivy Division Band, performed the difficult Italian Christmas carol, "Gesu Bambino," composed by Pietro Yon in 1917, combined with the traditional classic "O Holy Night," composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847.
The musicians did an outstanding job at the gala event that showcased the band's diversity, performing classical, jazz and rock renditions of the holiday musical arrangements for the Soldiers, Families and members of the Fort Carson communities, said Sgt. William Cole, Ivy Division Band transportation coordinator and trombone player.
"We try to play for the community as much as possible," said Cole. "It means a lot. We all come from different backgrounds, but the one common language we have is music."
Audience members cheered and applauded with standing ovations, rising to their feet for the band musicians after the musical arrangements, "Christmas Eve in Sarajevo," and the final performance an impromptu Christmas Medley mixed with John Philip Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever."