The combination of spit-and-polish patriotic music and free tickets has struck a chord in the lakes area.
An estimated 2,000 people are expected for the area performance of the U.S. Army Field Band & Soldiers Chorus, at 4 p.m. Saturday in the Brainerd High School gymnasium.
Sponsored by The Dispatch, the event "has gone really well, really well," said DeAnn Barry, the newspaper's public relations coordinator, in reference to the number of requests for free tickets.
Barry said The Dispatch had distributed about 1,850 tickets as of Monday.
Who: U.S. Army Field Band & Soldiers Chorus
What: Spring concert
Where: Brainerd High School gymnasium
When: 4 p.m. Saturday
Known as the "musical ambassadors of the Army," the Field Band and Soldiers Chorus are touring the country this spring, making them available for the annual community concert event sponsored by The Dispatch.
Other military performance groups have appeared in previous years, including the Army Jazz Ambassadors, an ensemble component of the Field Band, in 1998 and the National Guard Band last year.
"It's a family event and it brings out everyone from people with past military service to the young kids in area bands and choirs," Barry said. "It's also a good way to expose the community to military pride."
Tickets are available at The Dispatch at 506 James St., but the size of the audience is nearing the gymnasium's capacity of 2,500, Barry said.
The band and chorus will perform about a dozen popular and patriotic songs, including "El Capitan" and "Stars and Stripes Forever" by John Philip Sousa and a mixture of other popular songs.
As a special attraction, nine Brainerd High School band members will take a seat with the Field Band for a single number -- "National Emblem March" -- in the second half of the performance.
Founded in 1946, the 65-piece Field Band has been called "a great instrument for stirring public emotions," according to its media package.
Composed of the Army's "finest soldier-musicians," the Field Band and its 29-member Soldiers Chorus have appeared in every state and most foreign countries at one time or another, the package says.
Clad in the Army dress blue uniform, which dates back to the early 19th century, the band and chorus have become fixtures in the "official" Washington scene.
They perform often at official White House functions, Inaugural and other celebratory events in Washington, as well as the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall and other famous concert halls around the country, the package says.
Chairs will be set up on the gymnasium floor in front of the stage, but the bleachers along the sides will be used for overflow, Barry said.
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