An incredibly moving rendition of the Greek anthem “The Dance of Zalongo” was recently performed by a vocalist who is a member of the US Army Europe and Africa Band and Chorus.
Sung in commemoration of the bicentenary of the Greek Revolution in 2021, it was just one of many that the band and choir, made up of extremely talented young men and women, are performing across Europe as part of its outreach of the public as part of its mission.
Led by a “Command Team” consisting of Lt. Col. Randall S. Bartel, Commanding Officer
Sergeant Major Lori A. Nix and First Lieutenant Curran J. Schenck, the US Army Europe Band & Chorus, are stationed in Sembach, Germany.
Singer of the US Army Chorus, the instrumentalists perform the moving dance of Zalongo
The group, which was established in 1940, performs with its partner group, the US Army Europe Soldiers’ Chorus, which recently performed the magnificent Zalongo dance. The dance follows the story of the brave women of Zalongo who, rather than submit to slavery under the Ottoman Turks, kill themselves and their children by jumping off a cliff in Zalongo, Greece.
The talented musicians of the ensemble are the first musical ambassadors of the army in Europe. The versatile band is in high demand across the continent. Components include 65-piece concert bands and marching bands, a 35-piece ceremonial band, the ‘US Army Europe Standard’ jazz combo, the ‘Rhine River Ramblers’ dixieland band, and even classical chamber ensembles.
Members obtain their positions by special audition; most of these incredibly talented people performed or even taught professionally before their military service. Many musicians hold music degrees from reputable universities and conservatories.
The U.S. Army European Soldiers’ Chorus, which was organized in 1963 to boost troop morale through musical performances, quickly proved effective in advancing relations between the American community in Europe and its host nations. .
Zalongo one of the anthems of the Greek revolution
He frequently pays homage to the musical heritage of European nations, as seen in the Dance of Zalongo, in which the singer – who remains anonymous as an active member of the American forces – sings the moving hymn of the Greek Revolution in a perfect Greek.
She is accompanied by a guitarist and a clarinetist who also evoke the haunting theme of loss and redemption in the song.
Unlike their bandmates, however, the Chorus singers did not enter the military as musicians. They are selected through competitive auditions in other Army specialties and receive intensive training in singing, dancing, and acting. Surprisingly, this ensemble is only one of four full-time US Army choral groups.
The US Army Europe Band & Chorus, which performs more than 200 missions each year, has appeared in more than 20 European, Middle Eastern and North African locations over the past decade. As its commanding officer puts it, “the soldier musicians of the US Army Europe Band & Chorus continue to represent the best of the US military” and they are its flagship ensemble for popular music in Europe.
“Composed of talented soldiers from a variety of military professions, the Soldiers’ Chorus is guaranteed to put a smile on your face,” he says.
Singers are specially auditioned to represent the United States to the peoples of other nations through the international language of music. This group of singers perform music ranging from current hits to Broadway show tunes.
In addition to entertaining U.S. troops, the Soldiers’ Chorus performs regularly for senior U.S. military leaders and their diplomatic guests, among other notables.
As the representative popular music group within the US Army Europe Band, the Soldiers’ Chorus truly embodies the greatest mission of US Army band programs: to win, to foster support for our citizens, and to advance our interests. nationals at home and abroad.