SELINSGROVE — On Friday, one week before the nation celebrates its 238th birthday, the United States Army Field Band and Chorus will give a free concert at Weber Chapel Auditorium on the campus of Susquehanna University beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Founded in 1946, the 65-piece Field Band has performed in all 50 states and 25 countries.
“We can do from 100 to 120 performances as a large unit throughout the year and with smaller groups which can perform everything from ‘The National Anthem’ to other various events, the number can be as high as 600,” Master Sergeant Erica Russo said.
Founded in 1957, the Soldiers’ Chorus is the vocal complement of The United States Army Field Band. The 29-member mixed choral ensemble travels throughout the nation and abroad, performing as a separate component and in joint concerts with the Concert Band.
MSG Russo, a native of Columbus, Ohio, is the alto section leader for the Soldiers’ Chorus. She is a founding member of the Field Band’s vocal/instrumental elementary outreach ensemble and has been serving in the Army for the past 13 years.
“The chorus is an amazingly versatile group of singers and we perform songs from Broadway to opera to a cappella to patriotic standards,” she said.
One of her favorite parts of the show is the Armed Forces Salute. “You see veterans from all branches of the armed forces standing during their song, it’s a very moving part of the show,” she said.
MSG Russo started the Recess program last year with the focus on pre-kindergarten to second grade to engage kids though music. “We’ve seen so much about how music can have an effect on a person’s academics,” she said. “It teaches them discipline, to think outside the box and it also brings the Army to places where the children may have never met a soldier.”