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    ‘Since I live;’ Camp Bondsteel hosts KFOR Concert for Kosovo

    ‘Since I live;’ KFOR Bondsteel Concert for Kosovo

    Photo By Sgt. Casey Hustin | CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo -- Soldiers, civilians, Kosovar-Albanians, Kosovar-Serbians,...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Casey Hustin 

    Multinational Battle Group - East (KFOR)

    CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo — Music is universally a language in itself. Whether you love Snoop Dog or Bono, or MAGIC or Mozart, or all of them and Lady G, too, music can engage your senses in a way that few other things can. It can allow people to connect and find common ground. Camp Bondsteel’s leaders put forth an immense effort to bring people together using music’s universal language at the KFOR Concert for Kosovo the evening of Oct. 27.

    “Music is something that has been with me, since I live in this world,” said Jehona Lumi, lead singer of the band Jehona from Bllace, Kosovo, who performed at the concert. “It’s something that makes me feel very good and I want to express that feeling. Music makes me feel; I want everyone who can listen to me to have that feeling.”

    Around 200 people: Soldiers, civilians, Kosovar-Albanians, Kosovar-Serbians, teachers, students and leaders alike, came together around Camp Bondsteel’s main stage to partake in the KFOR Concert for Kosovo.

    The musical talent was displayed first by the youngest competitors in the concert's "Best Band" competition.

    The Trocadero band, comprised of three courageous students from Šilovo, Kosovo, keyed into the crowd, showcasing their musical skills and mastering their nerve, as the audience became engaged and impressed by their charisma. They created a unique atmosphere of fun, which quickly spread among the other competitors and onlookers.

    The concert took several months to coordinate and plan. One Soldier responsible for the concert’s success is Capt. Andrew D. Housel, the Effects Cell operations officer with the 79th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, California National Guard, supporting Multi-National Battle Group - East.

    “This was a significant event for KFOR because it showcased our abilities as a battle group to bring together different ethnicities and have everyone play for a common goal—unite Kosovo with music, which is universal,” said Housel. “I think the event went as well as we could have hoped, and then some.”

    The audience was engaged by each band’s talent. The emcee, Pranvera Behrami, a Radio KFOR staff member, hosted the event with excitement as she introduced each band and encouraged the audience to support them.

    The talented bands who came together to help unite Kosovo through music also included: Funky Guru and Friction bands from Pristina, Kosovo, and KontraBAND from Štrpce, Kosovo.

    The songs the bands played ranged across genres, from ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd, to ‘Suga Suga’ by Baby Bash, ‘Proud Mary’ by Tina Turner, ‘Kiss’ and ‘Purple Rain’ by Prince, ‘Beat it’ by Michael Jackson, and ‘Shape of You’ by Ed Sheeran.

    The concert allowed all the bands and their members to get together and share their experiences in a way that was something they all understood and loved, said Housel. That breaks down barriers.

    Audience members could be seen nodding, clapping and dancing along to the familiar songs and rhythms.

    The atmosphere was full of good food, conversations among friends, videos and photos—selfies capturing the memories, hugs and smiles, all brought together by music.

    The event was broadcast by KFOR Radio, covered by 4U Magazine and livestreamed on Facebook to allow others to share the atmosphere of celebration and to create opportunities for more events like it.

    The biggest advocate for the concert was KFOR24 Multi-National Battle Group - East Commander Col. Nick Ducich, from Chula Vista, California, who is also commander of the 79th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, California National Guard.

    “We’ve done sports before, we’ve done interaction in the local communities, but we all wanted to try music for the first time,” said Ducich. “It was a tremendous event and a phenomenal night.”

    Ducich said he was happy with the way the concert was able to reach so many people outside the gates of Camp Bondsteel.

    “It’s incredible every time we have an event that we see the unique talent that already exists here in Kosovo, and we are just trying to do our best to spotlight that.”

    Ducich said his hope is to build upon events like this, bridges of trust between different ethnic communities, and allow the future generations to foster one another and grow together.

    “In music, like sports, differences are put aside,” said Ducich.



    Date Taken: 10.27.2018
    Date Posted: 10.31.2018 09:17
    Story ID: 298283
    Location: CAMP BONDSTEEL, ZZ 

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