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    Band Educates Educators

    Band Educates Educators

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Trevor Cullen | US Army Sgt. Emily Perkins assigned to the 42nd Infantry Division Band sings during a...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Trevor Cullen 

    Headquarters, 42nd Infantry Division

    Band Educates Educators

    Story by Staff Sgt. Trevor Cullen, 42nd Infantry Division Public Affairs

    ROCHESTER, NY - On a chilly December morning with snow flurries in the air, 34 members of the 42nd Infantry Division's band arrived at the New York State School Music Association's conference to show how the band supports the overall mission of the New York Army National Guard.

    "We are here to promote the interests of the United States, New York, and the New York Army National Guard," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ethan F. Wagner, the 42nd Infantry Division's Band Commander. "What we are doing now allows us to be in our community."

    The band traveled to the NYSSMA Conference to participate in musical exhibitions featuring their concert band and their different Music Performance Teams.

    "MPTs are critical to the mission because of their small size and maneuverability responding to different situations," said Staff Sgt. Tessa Pettit, the non-commissioned officer in charge of the brass quintet.

    These MPTs are used to bring small band elements to specific events where they can interact with the local community.

    "Musical Performance Teams are a small group in the wider unit," said Sgt. Korey Macaleesejergins is a vocalist and percussionist with the band. "We can send our rock band to a high school or a jazz ensemble to a dining out."

    These missions fall right within the intended purpose of the Army Band.

    "We act as the liaisons between civilians and the military," said Staff Sgt. Billy Pardue, the percussion section sergeant. "We have a common ground, bridging the gap between the civilians and military because music is universal."

    The universal nature of music was on full display at the NYSSMA Conference by the unit's musical selection.

    "We generally try and pick well-known pieces," said Macaleesejergins "especially with all these educators, we chose some military songs and popular songs like a sleigh ride."

    These song choices included a memorable song entitled Flight of Valor.

    "Flight of Valor was a tribute to the passengers of Flight 93," said Macaleesejergins. "The patriotism of the people on the plane, their fight on the plane, and the [country] rising from the ashes of their heroic actions."

    Flight 93 was the plane that was overtaken during the terrorist attacks on September 11th, eventually being retaken by the passengers who prevented it from hitting the intended target of the Pentagon.

    "It's an honor to perform a song like this," said Macaleesejergins, "especially as members of the military it hits home."

    Many current band members were in the military when the United States was subjected to the terrorist attacks and directly after when the unit was mobilized to serve in Iraq.

    "I joined the band at 17," said Staff Sgt. Pamela Pfiel, the flutist with the band and Iraq War Veteran. "I've been in this band for 19 years; our unit is our family."

    The band, like any family, is continually subject to growth with new members being adopted into the family.

    "One of the top priorities of The Adjutant General of New York's is recruiting and retention, and we want to help with that," said Wagner. "We open the doors into schools through music."

    This method has been proven successful, especially at the NYSSMA event.

    "I had never heard of the National Guard or even known they had a band," said Spc. Tori Boell is a horn player in the band. "I came, met, and played with the band at NYSSMA and then talked to Sergeant 1st Class Fitzgerald for an hour and a half; it's the reason I joined the band."

    Boell is just one of many Soldiers that were positively impacted by one of the band's musical performances resulting in their joining the New York Army National Guard.

    "A buzzword now is the concept of lethality," said Wagner. "This does not just mean the ability to kill the enemy, but for us, lethality is operating the force." "If someone comes out and sees us and joins the Marines, that is fine because we are supporting the overall lethality of the Military."

    This vital community interaction and engagement shows how the band is assisting with the overall mission of the New York Army National Guard by participating in events like the NYSSMA Conference.

    "We saw over 4,000 people today," said 1st Sgt. Leslie Saroka, the 42nd Infantry Division Band's Senior Enlisted Leader, during an after-action review of the NYSSMA Event. "This was a huge success, and you all should be very proud!"



    Date Taken: 12.04.2021
    Date Posted: 12.27.2021 15:16
    Story ID: 411938
    Location: ROCHESTER, NY, US 

    Web Views: 60
    Downloads: 0