By Jonathan Agee, JFHQNCRMDWSeptember 17, 2012
FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (Sept. 17, 2012) -- Soldiers from The United States Army Field Band provided instrumental demonstrations for students in 25 schools throughout Maryland, Aug. 29 through Sept. 13.
The demonstrations were for elementary school students who were getting their first glimpse into the world of music education. By having members of The U.S. Army Field Band demonstrate the instruments, students had the chance to see and hear professional musicians perform on instruments the students could learn to play during the school year.
Staff Sgt. Katayoon Hodjati, flutist, who performed demonstrations in several schools this year, said it is a passion for her to inspire students with music.
"By bringing excellence into the schools, we inspire the kids to join the band program with the ultimate goal of promoting excellence through music," said Hodjati.
For many band directors, having premier musicians demonstrate the instruments motivates students to sign up for the band program.
"I heard that The United States Army Field Band had a partnership with Howard County, and I really want to get recruitment up this year for elementary band at Triadelphia Ridge," said Brandon Henley, band director at Triadelphia Ridge Elementary School. "I think it's wonderful for the students to see professionals play their instruments, and that's something they can aspire to be as they get older."
The demonstrations typically last about 30 minutes, allowing the Soldiers enough time to reach other students in different schools. For the Army Field Band, educational outreach at an early age is paramount.
"Educational outreach is part of The United States Army Field Band's mission," said Sgt. 1st Class Jason Stephens, educational outreach coordinator. "We are Soldiers representing Soldiers and are tasked with taking the Army's message to the American people. I believe that this should be a lifetime message, not just for people that attend our concerts. What better way to represent the Army than to get out into schools and show the students how professional the Army Field Band is, how disciplined you have to be to get to that level, and how fun music can be. They see us in uniform and make a direct connection with professionalism, extraordinary talent, and the Army."
In addition to instrumental demonstrations, the Army Field Band also performs clinics, masterclasses, and educational music assemblies throughout the year. The Army Field Band also offers a wealth of free educational materials online at www.ArmyFieldBand.com. To learn more, visit the website and click the "Education" tab on the top of the homepage.