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NEWS | Nov. 7, 2015

US Army Field Band motivates Mudders

By Sgt. Jonathan Fernandez 204th Public Affairs Detachment

PALM BAY, Fla. - Even before today’s U.S. Army was created, music has been a big part of the military. From drumming in the revolutionary war, to performing at events like the 2015 Tough Mudder at Palm Bay, Florida, music remains an integral part of the U.S. Army.

Today, the U.S. Army Field Band houses many different ensembles. These different groups range from classical music to modern rock and most genres in between.
The Volunteers, one of the ensembles from the U.S. Army Field Band, in Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, performed at the Tough Mudder event, Nov. 7, in Palm Bay, Florida.

“We’re here to rock out the Tough Mudders,” said Sgt. 1st Class April Boucher, while her fellow band members tuned their instruments. “It’s our first time [performing] at a Tough Mudder and we’re excited.”

The Tough Mudder is a team-oriented, 10-12 mile (18-20 km) obstacle course designed to test physical strength and mental grit. This event was one of many events across the country sponsored by the U.S. Army Reserve.

“This is awesome,” said one of the event participants walking by the stage covered in dirt after he completed the challenge.

One of the spectators’ children stood up and was waving his arms as if signaling a distant plane when the band played one of Guns N’ Roses’ songs. Other performance spectators, whether they stood by their seats or sat down in them, were seen swaying back and forth to some of the familiar songs. Despite being covered in mud and dripping in sweat, some of the event participants went as far as dancing with their partners.

“We are here to keep the people motivated,” said Boucher, a vocalist with the Volunteers and native of Coshocton, Ohio. “I enjoy doing this. The professionalism we bring represents us and our fellow Soldiers.”

From performances at swine festivals to high profile races with hundreds of thousands of people in the stands, the U.S. Army Field Band has performed in many different venues.

“I couldn’t pick a favorite place,” said Boucher. “I’ve performed at [Veteran’s Affairs] hospitals for wounded veterans and high schools [with aspiring musicians] and some high profile performances, including the vice-president’s house.”

Each performance has been a different experience, she said.

The band’s playlist included various artists such as Bruce Springsteen and Guns N’ Roses.

“There’s always a chance to connect,” said Boucher. “There’s always a chance to present an excellent, professional image of the United States Army to the people.”