FORT McPHERSON, Ga. (April 4, 2010) - East Lincoln Middle School band students traveled here on April 1 from Iron City, N.C., to listen and learn in master classes and performances by the U.S. Army Forces Command's Army Ground Forces Band.

Every year The Army Ground Forces Band reaches out to high school and middle school students in an effort to promote the United States Army.

"Performing at schools and working with America's rising generation of musicians is an important part of the band's community outreach mission, a mission that we take very seriously," said Maj. Treg Ancelet, the band commander. "It provides a free, professional resource that's all the more valuable during these times of tight budgets, especially those of school arts programs."

The students first heard performances by The Army Ground Forces Band's Brass Brigade and Woodwind Quintet. During those performances, students sang-a-long to musical selections by artists such as Chaka Khan, Jay Z and Alicia Keys. Afterwards, the military bandsmen and -women took questions from the students.

"Being here today has inspired me to try new instruments. I've never seen an Army band before, and I was most impressed by how much the band members practice. I now know that if I want to become a professional saxophonist I have to practice a lot more," said one student.

Next, Soldiers representing each musical section worked with students on their particular instruments and helped them hone their skills.

The East Lincoln Middle School band used the Army training facility to rehearse for its district band festival, where its members performed on April 2 before a panel of judges who rated competing bands on the difficulty of the music played and the quality of their performances.

"I really wanted the students to hear (how) professional musicians sound," said Brandon Meeks, East Lincoln Middle School band director. "I also hope that this experience has given the students another outlook on both music and careers after high school."

Cindy Daniel, one of the chaperones, reported in an email to the AGFB after the April 2 competition: Aca,!A"I wanted to let all of you know just how much the kids enjoyed hearing you play. We went to the Georgia Aquarium after leaving your base, and all the kids said they would have rather listened to your band play all day! They went to competition the next morning. . . , and the East Lincoln Middle School band won first place with a superior rating!Aca,!A?

The East Lincoln Middle School band visit is another example of how The Army Ground Forces Band successfully reaches out to the public and gives singular access to the nation's Armed Forces.

The 64-member Army Ground Forces Band performs about 300 concerts a year at local, regional and national events. It also conducts master music classes and clinics at high schools and colleges around the country.

The Soldiers assigned to the band have passed highly selective auditions and are among the finest musicians in the United States Army Band Program. The majority of the band's members have studied music at leading universities and conservatories in the United States and abroad.

For information about the U.S. Army Forces Command's Army Ground Forces Band, visit