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1st ID Brass Quintet teams up with Kuwait National Guard Band Staff Sgt. Micah VanDyke

Sgt. 1st Class David McDonald, trombone player, 1st Infantry Division Brass Quintet, plays the song "Amazing Grace" for the Kuwait National Guard during a bi-lateral performance at Camp Samoud, Kuwait, on March 4. This is the first time a band deployed to Afghanistan has come to Kuwait and played with Kuwaitis, setting a milestone. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Micah VanDyke, Third Army/ARCENT Public Affairs)

CAMP SAMOUD, Kuwait – The connection between the United States and Kuwait is set in stone and a new chord was struck when the brass quintet from the 1st Infantry Division Band Brass Quintet, Fort Riley Kan., visited Camp Samoud, Kuwait March 4-5 sharing music and performing alongside the Kuwait National Guard Band. The brass quintet finished up their yearlong deployment to Afghanistan by playing in Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

A relationship between countries can instantly transform through the common love of music despite contrasting views on religion, politics and ideology. What happens when you take two countries with an already tight-knit connection and apply music to the mix? It puts their relationship in perfect rhythm.

The connection between the United States and Kuwait is set in stone and a new chord was struck when the brass quintet from the 1st Infantry Division Band Brass Quintet, Fort Riley Kan., visited Camp Samoud, Kuwait March 4-5 sharing music and performing alongside the Kuwait National Guard Band. The brass quintet finished up their yearlong deployment to Afghanistan by playing in Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

The band members completed their last mission in the Middle East by touring the Arabian Gulf and forming a new bond with the KNG Band.

“Anything we can do to increase our relationship with the Kuwaitis is a positive thing,” said Staff Sgt. Sherif Mostafa, clarinet player of the brass quintet. “Anytime we get to play with another military band, it’s a great honor.”

No matter where people find themselves, they will find a common language in music all over the world.

“I really don’t speak English well, but I understand music and when my performers sat down in front of your sheets they knew with a snap of a finger what to play and how to play it,” said Col. Jamal Al-Johar, commander of the music unit in the KNG. “Both bands came together, played together and everything else just melted away.”

“Music is music no matter where in the world and it brings everyone together,” added Al-Johar.

Spc. Brent Watts, a trumpet player with the 1st ID Band, said he would always remember that the pressure of playing side by side was nonexistent during his performance with the KNG Band.

“Not to say anything cliché or cheesy, but it was more like a magical moment I guess,” said Watts. “We played a little bit of the Beatles and I was like ‘yeah!’ Sharing that moment was pretty cool.”

“In hindsight this is probably my favorite part of the deployment, spending the tail end of it here,” he shared.

1st Sgt. Stephen Foxx, 1st ID Band, forward commander, has played with the 1st ID Band for the past few months and is enthusiastic about where these types of performances may lead. He believes in building a relationship between countries simply through music.

“We can’t even see the relationship’s improvement yet, but we’ll lose it if we don’t continue this thing forward,” said Foxx.


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Public Domain Mark
This work, 1st ID Brass Quintet teams up with Kuwait National Guard Band, by SSG Micah VanDyke, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:03.04.2013

Date Posted:03.08.2013 07:48

Location:CAMP SAMOUD, KW

Hometown:FORT RILEY, KS, US

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