News: 188th Army Band welcomes new commander
Story by Staff Sgt. Eric Jensen
FARGO, N.D. - Family, friends and members of the North Dakota National Guard's 188th Army Band welcomed the unit's newest commander with a chorus of applause during a formal change-of-command ceremony Aug. 17 at the Armed Force Reserve Center in Fargo.
Warrant Officer James R. Landman accepted responsibility as commander and primary conductor for the band from 1st Sgt. Bradley Reed, who had served as acting commander since 2013. As commander of the 188th Army Band, Landman will oversee the unit's training requirements, determine personnel for the arrangement of music ensembles and serve as the concert band's primary conductor.
"This is a great day for our 188th Army Band, a unit that consistently engages with and entertains communities throughout North Dakota," said Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, North Dakota adjutant general. "Warrant Officer Landman will continue to enhance our Soldier-musicians' abilities and give our top-notch band more opportunities to connect with audiences wherever they perform. He is an incredible musician, an excellent Soldier and will be an effective, competent commander."
Landman enlisted into the 188th Army Band in February 2008, eventually earning the rank of sergeant. In June 2013, he was presented the Reserve Component Army Band Soldier of the Year award for his job accomplishments, leadership and artistic integrity as a trumpet instrumentalist. The award acknowledges Landman as the best enlisted Army band member across the entire National Guard and Army Reserve for 2012.
Prior to accepting the commander position for the 188th Army Band, Landman recently completed a 5-week course at Fort Rucker, Alabama, to become a member of the Army National Guard warrant officer corps. While there, he received a "Leadership Award" for "achieving and maintaining the highest standards" while attending the school, according to the award citation.
A graduate from North Dakota State University in Fargo, Landman holds a bachelor's degree in music education. In his civilian profession, he works full-time as the band director for Sheyenne High School in West Fargo.
"Being able to serve in the 188th Army Band in a different capacity and take command of Soldiers, who I see as family, it's powerful," Landman said. "This change in duty brings new opportunities to give back to the unit and the North Dakota National Guard."
The official mission of the 188th Army Band is to provide music throughout the full spectrum of military operations and to instill in Soldiers the will to fight and win, to foster the support of citizens, to promote national interests at home and abroad and to entertain audiences. In successful completion and ongoing fulfillment of that mission, the band has continued to provide music to the citizens and Soldiers of North Dakota for 127 years.
The 188th Army Band recently has adopted a modularity concept, breaking its unit down into smaller music groups to support events across the state. Some of the ensembles the unit regularly assembles include two rock bands, a brass quintet, jazz combo and Dixieland combo. Many band members spend time outside of designated drill weekends and training events rehearsing on their own.
Some of the 188th Army Band's most recent events have included performances across the state in Bismarck, Stanley, Parshall and Minot, North Dakota, as part of the unit's annual training engagements. A brass quintet comprised of the band's Soldiers played at the Capitol Building Aug. 16 in Bismarck for North Dakota's 125th Celebration Party as well as an anniversary concert in Fargo in July. North Dakota will celebrate 125 years of statehood on Nov. 2, 2014.
In June, Soldiers from the 188th Army Band supported a Military Music Camp with the North Dakota National Guard's Child and Youth Program. The 5-day curriculum for children musicians of military members was held at North Dakota State University in Fargo.