A traveling Christmas tradition began its tour at Regent University’s Performing Arts Center with a full house and 60-plus member U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Band. The sounds of the season filled the auditorium as Regent welcomed the Newport News, Virginia-based Fort Eustis concert band, smaller ensembles and vocalists.
“These players put out some amazing sounds. They are masters of their craft and are highly educated,” said TRADOC’s public affairs officer and tuba player Mark Lucero. “Everyone in the band is a professional musician, and we are always playing. We just finished some Veteran’s Day concerts, took a week off, and are jumping into the holiday music.”
Some of that music was written by band members. French horn player SFC Sean Payton arranged several of the evening’s pieces. From “Home for the Holidays,” to the “Three Moods of Hanukkah,” the concert offered a diverse taste and range of holiday arrangements and got the audience to participate at its conclusion with a holiday sing-along.
The Saturday, December 6 performance was the first of three holiday concerts the band will perform in the Hampton Roads area. It was made possible by the band’s connection to Robertson School of Government Dean Eric Patterson, the commander of the Air National Guard Band of the Southwest (Ft. Worth, Texas). Dean Patterson invites the TRADOC band to perform at Regent each year.
“The TRADOC Band is not only entertaining, but inspiring. Its musicians remind us of how great our country is through the power of musical artistry,” said Patterson.
The TRADOC band is self-run. Not only do its members perform pieces, but they keep the band going by providing sound, lighting, promotions and administrative help. Members thanked Regent for its hospitality and work to ensure a successful concert.
“Due to sequestration, we haven’t been able to rent-out venues, so a lot of organizations have taken us in. Working with Regent has been great. They have a box office and they do these sorts of things all of the time, so it’s always nice to come in with a professional staff helping us out at the door with tickets and to have the wonderful venue,” said Lucero. “Regent always rolls out the red carpet for us and we always appreciate it.”
The TRADOC Band used to be named the Continental Army Band and has a long history with Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia. Consolidation of forts moved the band to Fort Eustis two years ago. The Army TRADOC Band serves as an outreach asset for the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.
The TRADOC Band performs numerous concerts in support of local, regional and national events, including festivals, parades, and both city and state commemorations. The band also supports military ceremonies on and off Fort Eustis.