U.S. Army Chorus to Sing with Charlottesville Municipal Band

By: Ruth Morton Email
By: Ruth Morton Email

June 16, 2014

You have the chance to hear an elite group of singers for free in Charlottesville.

The U.S. Army Chorus drove down from their home in D.C. for a rehearsal with Charlottesville Municipal Band on Tuesday evening. The chorus is made up of 29 men who sing for D.C. dignitaries and around the world. They practiced with the municipal band for a joint concert at the Paramount at 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

The concert is part of the band's summer concert series, and like the rest of the series, is free.

The lineup runs from patriotic marches to songs from the Beach Boys and the musical Jersey Boys.

Not only is performing with the historic band an honor for the municipal band, but its director says it's a chance for the community to see a different side of the military band.

"We always think of the military as guys gone off to war, well, the chorus and all the bands have always supported that, but they always perform around the country and in theatres of action and this is a great way for the charlottesville community to see just another aspect of the United States Army," said Stephen Layman, the Charlottesville Municipal Band Music Director.

Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. Before the concert, the municipal band's saxophone quartet, CASE, will play in the lobby. Kids can get to know musical instruments at a musical petting zoo from 7:30 to 7:50.

This is the second time the Charlottesville Municipal Band is playing with the U.S. Army Chorus. The two groups played together for the first time two years ago. Layman said a retired member of the chorus moved to Charlottesville about three years ago. After attending a performance, he suggested a joint performance with the two bands.

They were going to play together again last year, but had to cancel because of the government sequester.

"It's a lot of fun, it's challenging. A lot of the music that we're doing with the chorus is not the kind of thing that we would always do," said Layman, explaining that the Army Chorus reads its music in a manuscript format, which differs from the municipal band. "Most of our stuff that we play is, tends to be, printed in a type-set kind of a format. So, whenever you're reading manuscript it's a little bit of a challenge."

There are four more shows left in the band's 92nd summer concert series along with a free show series at the Central library. For when and where the performances are, visit its website.

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