By Larry Stevens, FORSCOM Public Affairs OfficeOctober 6, 2011
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Oct. 6, 2011) - The Army Ground Forces Band held a ribbon-cutting ceremony here today, officially opening its 18,748 sq. ft. training facility.
The new facility consolidates the band's operations, which were spread across various locations at the band's former home at Fort McPherson, Ga. The band made the move here last summer with FORSCOM, its parent unit, because of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure legislation.
The band's Brass Ensemble played during the ceremony. Afterwards, guests attended a reception and toured the facility, while the Jazz Guardians, Woodwind Quintet, Brass Brigade and Loose Cannons provided rousing background music.
"The band provides a great outlet for our Army to show itself off - not just its esprit but our many, many talents," said the ceremony's host, Lt. Gen. Howard B. Bromberg, deputy commanding general and chief of staff for U.S. Army Forces Command. "This new, state-of-the-art training facility is truly an appropriate home for this assemblage of world-class soldier musicians.
The new facility houses a concert band rehearsal hall for a 64-piece concert band, a jazz band/large group rehearsal room for a 25-piece ensemble, six small group rehearsal rooms for five- to eight-piece ensembles and seven individual practice rooms.
Among the facility's many technical features and amenities are acoustic control accomplished through finish selections such as acoustical ceiling tile, acoustical wall panels, and acoustic floor panels; floating hardwood maple floors for added acoustical benefits; and finish materials that are environmentally friendly, durable and easy to maintain.
"But the most important consideration is what the band does outside these walls - how it performs its mission as the U.S. Army's musical ambassador," Bromberg continued.
The Army Ground Forces Band - 'FORSCOM's own' - carries out a very special mission on behalf of the Army's largest command," Of course, its Soldiers perform for the traditional military ceremonies and functions. But this band has a broader, community outreach mission as well."
He said that the band and its various ensembles promote good will and fosters a sense of patriotism and national unity through parades, concerts, ceremonies and other off-post appearances.
FORSCOM's uniformed musicians also holds free clinics and master classes for college, high school and middle school music students.
The band also performs a vital service in supporting the army recruiting mission.
In addition to its full calendar supporting its important FORSCOM mission -- the band has also picked up the 82nd division band's many ceremonial responsibilities here while the "All American" band is deployed to Afghanistan.
Since resetting from last summer's move and becoming operational in August, the band has performed some 30 missions and has 25 already scheduled before the end of the year, with more requests coming in daily.
The band's commander, Maj. Treg E. Ancelet, observed, "I can honestly say, with our musical performance teams performing the National Anthem at two NASCAR races for over 11 million people, being the opening act for the group 'Three Doors Down,' having groups perform throughout the region and tour the country, and now being the only band, until the 82nd band's return, for a post with 55,000 Soldiers and 39 generals, we are one of the most visible and active Army Bands in the country."
The 64 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.
To learn more about the band and to submit a request, visit www.forscom.army.mil/band.