First Posted: 7/1/2009
The 208th Army Band out of Concord usually entertains soldiers, but July 4th the musicians will open their performance up to the community for free at the Blackmon Amphitheatre at 1 p.m.
The free concert is being presented by the Surry Arts Council.
Tim Lyden, the 208th Army Band commander and bandmaster, said the group will perform a series of patriotic songs, popular songs, contemporary band songs and a special medley of Michael Jackson songs honoring the King of Pop who died at the age of 50 last week.
We are going to play all kinds of music that address people of all ages in the audience, said Lyden, who earned his Bachelor of Music degree in education from Youngstown State University and has been involved with the band since 1996. We invite everyone to come, there will be something for everyone to enjoy.
The 208th is an Army Reserve band based in Concord, and it usually performs for soldiers assigned to the 81st Regional Support Command in Fort Jackson, S.C. Its visit to Mount Airy is part of a summer performance tour, which also includes trips to Stokes County.
The band was one of the first performances at the Blackmon Amphitheatre when it was built about four years ago, and it returned to perform in Mount Airy during Mayberry Days three years ago.
History of 208th Army Band
The 208th Army Bands history began in 1956 as the 108th Division Band after a lateral transfer of personnel and equipment from the 94th Army National Guard Band of North Carolina. The band changed names and headquarters over the course of the last few decades. In 2008, the band was re-designated as the 208th Army Band and assigned as a separate unit under the 81st Regional Support Command, and relocated to Concord.
The primary mission of the band is to promote the espirit de corps for out fighting forces, and to serve as a goodwill ambassador throughout North and South Carolina. In the spring of 2000, the band was deployed to El Salvador as part of Operation New Horizons, Task Force Santa Fe, to provide musical support for morale and international community relations.
For more information, visit www.surryarts.org or call 786-7998.
Contact Erin C. Perkins at [email protected] or 719-1952.