Army band, choirs present 'Home for the Holidays' at Patriot Hall


The 282nd Army Band will present its Christmas concert, "Home for the Holidays," at 7 p.m. Friday at Patriot Hall. The 40-piece band will be joined on two songs by the combined choirs of Crestwood and Lakewood high schools, directed by Deborah Horton and Herbert Johnson.

The band, under the command of Chief Warrant Officer III George T. Bauer and 1st Sgt. Daniel Welch, is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Fort Jackson, where it has been headquartered since 1956.

According to its official history, the 282nd Army Band's "primary mission is to promote readiness and perform music that maintains the morale and esprit de corps of the soldiers stationed at Ft. Jackson." The band expands its mission to support surrounding areas by playing free concerts and ceremonies, as well as marching in parades, as they did Saturday in the Carillon Parade in Columbia.

In addition to its concert band, the 282nd includes several performing groups that play a variety of music from traditional marches to pop, jazz and rock in venues that include Shaw Air Force Base and Sumter.

Herbert Johnson, director of the Grammy-winning Lakewood High School, said the choirs are very excited about being a part of "Home for the Holidays."

"We rarely have the opportunity to perform with a band," he said. "It's different than just performing a cappella or with piano, and it's a great musical learning experience."

Combined, the award-winning Crestwood and Lakewood choirs have 25 members who won seats in the South Carolina All-State Chorus. They were selected for the prestigious and very limited seats from among thousands of S.C. high school vocalists who auditioned.

Johnson said the combined choirs will be accompanied by the band in a gospel arrangement of "Joy to the World" from the film "The Preacher's Wife," which starred the late Whitney Houston, as well as a Christmas carol sing-along. The choirs will also sing an a cappella version of "Carol of the Bells."

The Commanding General U.S. Army Training Center and Fort Jackson present "Home for the Holidays" at 7 p.m. Friday at Patriot Hall, 135 Haynsworth St. Admission is free. Call Patriot Hall at (803) 436-2260 for free tickets.