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 November 26, 2010

People

451st band plays Veterans Day concerts throughout area

FORT McCOY, Wis. (88th Regional Support Command Public Affairs Office) — The 451st Army Reserve Band from Fort Snelling, Minn., played concerts in Eau Claire, Wis., and Chippewa Falls, Wis., Nov. 11 in honor of Veterans Day.
PHOTO: The 451st Army Reserve Band stands for applause from the crowd at Chippewa Falls High School in Chippewa Falls, Wis., Nov. 11. Photo by Staff Sgt. Kevin Gorzek
The 451st Army Reserve Band stands for applause from the crowd at Chippewa Falls High School in Chippewa Falls, Wis., Nov. 11. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Kevin Gorzek)

The goal of the concerts was to educate, inspire and entertain, said 1st Sgt. Cheryl Wason of the 451st. The concerts also are a recruiting tool for the Army, she added.

The Eau Claire concert was held at Minnesota Wire during its third annual Veterans Day barbecue.

About 500 attended the barbecue, said Brian Wagner, the plant manager at Minnesota Wire.

The Chippewa Falls concert was held at Chippewa Falls High School for the city’s Veterans Day observance. The band played a combination of classical, military, and pop music. Members of the band play concerts on a monthly basis, Wason said.

A full ensemble with all 34 members happens every few months. The band can be sent out modularly, she said. Sometimes a four-Soldier rock group will play, or a woodwind trio will play depending on the mission, she explained.

The 451st has played many different venues. Members play regular concerts at the Mall of America in Minneapolis; North Heights Church in Arden Hills, Minn.; Fort Benning, Ga.; and have toured in Germany and Italy.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Daniel Eckhoff, the 451st commander, said the band is on the edge of a breakthrough to better things. He said he was looking forward to what the band can do.

Wason said the band’s next big venue is the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City in March 2011. The 451st is one of six Army Reserve Bands providing Soldiers for a combined 250 Soldiers to march in the parade, she said.

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