In the days prior to Veterans Day, the Minnesota 204th Army Band visited Red Wing for a commemorative concert. 

The Hiawatha Beyond the Yellow Ribbon group organized the concert and invited the Army band to Red Wing to help celebrate Veterans Day.

“Throughout time United States military bands have provided majesty and fanfare across the country,” 204th Army band member Staff Sgt. Matthew Pilch said at the concert. 

The band played a variety of pieces ranging from traditional patriot and military music to Disney music. 

The Army band played selections from “Encanto” during the concert and integrated themes from the movie into the morals and values of the U.S. military.

“We would do well to point out some of the themes purposely placed in the animated film “Encanto,” first the narrative of sacrifice, then there is the concept of community, which are both recurring themes in the military,” Pilch said. 

Army bands have been around in the United States for many years. The 204th Army Band in Minnesota is based out of Fort Snelling, and they have about 30 band members. 

During some performances they have guests that perform with the core members of the band. They have break out groups that perform separately in some cases. 

During the concert their smaller group “All Bass No Ammo” performed selections from Disney movies. The smaller group is made up of brass instruments. 

The band plays at several events year-round including concerts, parades and other commemorative ceremonies. 

The concert was open to the public and many veterans and service members were in attendance. 

Other pieces performed by the band included “America the Beautiful,” “Always United, Forever Strong” and “Lincoln Legacy.”

Each piece tied back to values of the military and touched on the history of military forces. The band played “Stars and Stripes Forever” which was composed by John Philip Sousa. 

“John Philip Sousa is known as America’s march king, he got his start as director of a United States Marine band which years later became the President’s Own Marine Band,” Pilch said. 

The Beyond the Yellow Ribbon organization continues to plan events such as this one in the community to create support and awareness for veterans and their families. 

The organization aims to help veterans and service members with immediate action and help them get in touch with larger entities. 

“We are power connectors, we are connected with organizations locally that can help us in situations where veterans are seeking help with things like housing and we can make things happen quickly,” Beyond the Yellow RIbbon President Lance Garrick said. 

The Minnesota 204th Army Band has social media pages where they post future concerts and videos of past concerts. 

The Red Wing concert is available to watch on their Facebook page at 204th Army Band MN.

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