News: N.C. Symphony makes sweet music on Fort Bragg
Story by Spc. Cody Thompson
FORT BRAGG, N.C. – Patriotic music played by the North Carolina Symphony could be heard amid a sea of families gathered at the main post parade field on Fort Bragg, June 4. Fort Bragg’s Directorate of Family, and Morale Welfare and Recreation hosted the concert, which is part of the Symphony’s state-wide Red, White, and Blue Tour.
The symphony’s tour pays tribute to servicemembers in North Carolina, who have kept America safe for generations, said Grant Llewellyn, the music director for the N.C. Symphony.
“The idea was launched by the North Carolina Symphony to perform five shows which is blend of musical conflicts in honor of military heritage,” said Rob Maddrey, the director of statewide development for North Carolina. “This is the first time they have performed in Fort Bragg, but we hope to maintain a partnership for future shows.
Fans brought blankets and chairs to sit in, while they listened to classic songs like “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “The Army Song,” “Shenandoah,” and “Rosie the Riverter.”
Performing with the Symphony was vocalist Sgt. 1st Class Christal S. Rhems, a member of the United States Army Band. Rhems has performed at the White House and sang with many popular singers including Wayne Newton, Ricky Martin and Trisha Yearwood.
An instrument zoo took place before the show. At the zoo, children viewed, touched and played with a variety of musical instruments.
“With the instrument zoo, kids can play with the instruments that the symphony uses and see how difficult it is,” said Maddrey.
The conductor was presented an Iron Mike statue before the show by Canadian Armed Forces Brig. Gen. Nicolas Matern, the deputy commanding general of operations with the XVIII Airborne Corps, to thank them for the concert.
“The symphony is touring the state to celebrate military heritage, and who better to play for than the finest fighting force, here on Fort Bragg,” said Matern.
The Symphony played other locations during the tour that include Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, Camp Lejeune and Cary.