Last year I had the opportunity of watching an incredible performance by the U.S. Army Field Band and Soldiers’ Chorus in the New Mexico Tech auditorium at Macey Center. The band expertly executed classics such as “The Star Spangled Banner” and “America the Beautiful” to the closing piece “Battle Hymn of the Republic” by William Steffe.
New Mexico Tech student Alex Duff was given the opportunity to play with the Army Field Band at the concert at Macey. Alex plays the trumpet and was enrolled in an orchestra course through the New Mexico Tech Fine Arts Department. Ronna Kalish – Director of the Fine Arts Program at NMT – announced to the music students that the Army Field Band would be performing in Socorro. Alex jumped on the chance to play with such a talented group.
The band gave Alex the piece that he was to play at the concert – “Dogface Soldier.” On the day of the performance he was able to meet the musicians. He was recognized before the performance of the song and was briefly interviewed about his origins in music.
His excellent performance prompted the band to request his continued presence in a second song that night. Alex then played “Stars and Stripes” with the band on a whim, completely by sight-reading. Alex was honored to be part of the band that night and stated, “It was great having the opportunity to play with [them]. They are really good at what they do.”