25th ID Band will perform in China, Russia

| September 7, 2010 | 0 Comments

Story and Photo by
Spc. Mahlet Tesfaye
25th Infantry Division Public Affairs 

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joseph Parenteau(right), commander and conductor, 25th ID Band, leads the band during a rehearsal for its performances in China and Russia. The band is traveling for 10 days, to perform at different events and to represent the U.S. military. SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Three groups from the 25th Infantry Division Band will perform in Russia and China Sept. 3-13.

The marching band, the brass ensemble, and a pop-rock group will perform in Sakhalin Island, Russia, to help celebrate the island’s independence, and at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.

These groups will also perform at the Shanghai Community International School, as part of the band’s outreach program.  

“From a military stand point, the uniform can be an intimidating thing,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joseph Parenteau, commander and conductor, 25th ID Band. “The band is out there to humanize the military. The band gives us an opportunity to put a face behind the uniform. Music is a language that does not need translation. So we can bring our music to China and Russia, and share who we are as Americans.” 

Parenteau said that the band’s musical selections will reflect the U.S. military history and American popular tunes.

“It is a huge opportunity for the Soldiers in the band,” Parenteau added. “They have worked very hard to make sure that we put forth the best performance possible.” 

“I am looking forward to meeting people from Russia and China,” said Staff Sgt. Ronald Strayhorn, percussion player, 25th ID Band. “We get to interact with people one-on-one, make friends, exchange American culture, build relationships and build bridges.”

In the past, this band was used primarily as a public relations or strategic diplomacy tool, Parenteau said. The band handled the Army’s needs in different areas like troop morale, support, educational outreach, humanitarian efforts and national disasters. The band has performed in Indonesia, Australia, Papua New Guinea and India.

“This tour is the first time in quite a few years that we are trying to get back to that core mission of being the face of the U.S. Army, to the public, off the island,” Parenteau said. “This trip to China and Russia puts the 25th ID on the world stage again.” 

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