338th Band tours Army Hawaii with musical teams

| July 31, 2015 | 0 Comments
The U.S. Army Reserve Command Band performs at the Ala Moana Center in Honolulu. The band’s teams performed at locations throughout Hawaii from July 12-25.

Photo by Spc. James L. Larimer, 367th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
The U.S. Army Reserve Command Band performs at Ala Moana Center in Honolulu. The band performed at locations throughout Hawaii from July 12-25.

Story and photos by Sgt. First Class LaTonya Kelly
367th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

 

HONOLULU — The 338th U.S. Army Reserve Command Band performed concerts and ceremonies throughout Hawaii, July 12-25, for its mandatory annual training.

Soldiers focused on musical and vocal strengths while musical performance teams (MPTs) performed, simultaneously, at multiple venues in Hawaii. This is the first time band members of the 338th have publicly performed as MPTs to increase training and exposure.

With professional musical guidance provided by Chief Warrant Officer 4 Ronald S. Kuntz and Command Sgt. Maj. Wayne Buckley, the MPTs conducted ceremonial, patriotic, classical, country, jazz and rock music performances to share with Soldiers and local Hawaiian communities.

“I have been playing in the Army band for 29 years and this is my first encounter with following the footsteps of active Army by incorporating MPT in annual training,” said Sgt. 1st Class Betsy Buckmaster.

The band regularly performs for promotions, ceremonies, holiday celebrations, parades and sporting events in the surrounding communities of Ohio and Michigan.

“Being part of a MPT has given me a creative outlet to express myself and grow,” expressed Buckmaster.

Photo by Spc. James L. Larimer, 367th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment   Staff Sgt. Scott Coffey, left, performs with fellow band members Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Reeder, center and Spc. Autumn Moore, at the Ala Moana Center in Honolulu. The band performed at locations throughout Hawaii from July 12-25.

Photo by Spc. James L. Larimer, 367th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
Staff Sgt. Scott Coffey, left, performs with fellow band members Sgt. 1st Class Jeff
Reeder, center and Spc. Autumn Moore, at the Ala Moana Center in Honolulu. The band performed at locations throughout Hawaii from July 12-25.

Band members agreed that playing in MPTs is ideal training that showcases several individualized talents. Sgt. Thomas “TJ” Wolfgrahm displayed his multiple talents with a rock‘n’roll MPT called Cover Down, by playing the saxophone and bass guitar and singing lead vocals.

Wolfgrahm said, “Music is heartfelt, and how you express it impacts the sounds that comes out.”

During 14 days of training, the 338th substituted for the Tropic Lightning Band for numerous engagements, including two changes of command — one of those aboard the battleship USS Missouri — and a Flying V.

“We are thankful for the music during the Flying V ceremony, helping to stir the emotions of patriotism provided by the 338th Reserve Command Band,” said Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, commander, U.S. Army-Pacific.

“As a former trumpeter, the 338th Army Band is absolutely flawless and added value to the ceremony,” said Maj. Gen. Christopher P. Hughes.

338th brass and woodwind quintet MPTs performed for service members and their families at the Hale Koa in Waikiki.

Those Soldiers who performed twice daily said that MPT rotations were vigorous and demanding. The band members rehearsed daily and collectively performed 19 missions during the 12 days on ground at Schofield Barracks.

“The advantage of having MPTs during this annual training gave us an opportunity to conquer more performances and provide different genres to audiences,” said Staff Sgt. Amy Ashcraft.

The 338th MPTs will continue to fully engage in providing diverse genres to improve performances, not only during annual training but also at monthly battle assemblies. The positive impact of their musical contributions during annual training displayed enthusiastic readiness and effectiveness for future training.

 

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