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‘Big Red One’, community musicians spread holiday cheer

By J. Parker Roberts | 1ST INF. DIV. PUBLIC AFFAIRS | December 29, 2014

JUNCTION CITY – The 1st Infantry Division and Junction City Community bands teamed up again this year for a holiday concert at the C.L. Hoover Opera House. The assembly of musicians performed the Sounds of the Season concert Dec. 12 to 14, featuring holiday favorites and new takes on classic carols.

“The 1st Inf. Div. Band has a long legacy, a long history, and it’s incredibly talented,” said Brig. Gen. Eric. J. Wesley, 1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley senior mission commander, at the Dec. 14 performance. “We in the division have the opportunity to listen to them all the time at our various ceremonies, but we don’t want to hold them in and hide them on post, we want to be able to share.”

The concert exemplifies the partnerships formed by the “Big Red One” and Fort Riley with the post’s surrounding communities.

“This is a little bit here in this Christmas season, a gift back to the community,” Wesley said. “This place, this community, is unmatched nationwide in the embrace that we feel when we come in. My Soldiers and my family feel the embrace of this community unlike any other.”

Wesley asked the audience to keep in mind the Soldiers from Fort Riley who will be deployed during the holidays this year.

“The concerts went really well,” said Staff Sgt. Richard Ingle, vocalist, 1st Inf. Div. Band.

The Friday and Saturday performances packed the house, he said, while the Sunday matinee had only 20 seats unoccupied.

“It worked out really well for us,” Ingle said.
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