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Getting in tune with patriotism

One of the most important parts, we as Americans, should remember as we celebrate our nation’s freedom with Independence Day is the service men and women who each day secure our liberties.

Some of those brave individuals from the military will visit Sylvania Saturday evening.

And they will bring their instruments.

The 3rd Infantry Division Band from FortStewart will perform a “Patriotic Concert” in honor of the upcoming July 4 holiday at the Community Amphitheater, located directly behind the county courthouse and next to the OgeecheeTechnicalCollegeScrevenCenter.

The free June 27 concert that will begin at 7 p.m. is expected to last approximately 60 minutes as 35-plus band members play about eight tunes.

The public is asked to bring chairs and blankets for the outdoor event.

“We are definitely excited about coming to play in Sylvania,” said Sgt. Shawn Cupp, a member of the band.

Although the music concert-goers will hear Saturday evening will be the uplifting American classics, Cupp said the band, as a whole or in separated groups, have the ability to play various styles of arrangements.

“We can do ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ up to James Brown and Nirvana,” said Cupp, who mentioned that accomplished singers also are members of the band under the command of Chief Warrant Officer II Jonathan Ward and First Sgt. Lester McKinney.

Cupp said each band member is part of smaller groups that include a rock band, jazz combo, popular music ensemble, and a small brass band with upbeat instrumentals.

The band’s diverse musical groups also include a ceremonial band, marching band, concert band, stage band and show band.

“We are pretty versatile as small as we are,” said Cupp, whose own group recently traveled to Orlando to play. The whole band has played several events in the Savannah area, Dublin, Ga., and South Carolina.

On May 23, the band played for the Atlanta Braves’ “Military Appreciation Night.”

A person has to be a quality instrumentalist to be in this band. A prospective band member must audition for command team and if that person gains approval, the band is on-the-job training for the soldiers.

“Located in FortStewart, the band travels around the southeastern United States performing music with the technical proficiency and precision that represents the professionalism of today’s Army,” reads the band’s Web site.

Although the band members are talented musicians and performers, the 3rd Infantry Division band members are soldiers first and were deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The band provides bugler services for active duty, retired, and veterans’ funerals, and the playing of “Taps” for ceremonies such as Memorial and Veterans’ Day observances.