“Playing with a Purpose” SPOTLIGHT on the 4th Infantry Division Band

Military Matters

FORT CARSON, Colo. — Since its activation in 1943, the 4th Infantry Division Band has supported the soldiers and families of the 4th Infantry Division, instilling Esprit de Corps and bringing the sounds of home wherever they go.

There’s currently 45 members in the 4th ID band, most with bachelor’s degrees in music and some even have masters or doctorates.

“Army band soldiers are just like all other soldiers,” said MSG David Newcomb, Operations Sergeant for the band. “We start our careers by going to basic combat training and learning all the basic soldiering skills like rifle-marksmanship, land navigation, map reading, first aid and so on.”

Every member of the 4th ID ban is selected through a competitive audition process and must enlist in the Army.

“Once we’re in the band we have to maintain all those skills,” said Newcomb. “So we have regular training on all the soldier duties in addition to our musical training.”

“We love playing music, but we’re not only musicians, we’re also soldiers and I think that gets lost a lot,” said SSG Jose Gonzalez.

4th Infantry Division Band member during a recent performance

As a soldier, members of the band can be deployed.

“I spent some time in Afghanistan where we played for troops there,” said Newcomb. “I think when people think of the band they don’t realize the impact that we really have, they see us doing parades, they see us doing ceremonies and I feel like we kind of get put into that box but I think it’s also important to understand that we’re there, we get deployed with other troops who get deployed, we bring that kind of piece of home to them when they’re in those really difficult environments,” said CPL Emily Daley.

“The reaction from troops is really meaningful to us because we can tell that we are kind of bringing a little piece of home that they are missing,” said Newcomb.

When they are not performing for troops overseas, these talented musicians are playing close to home, for all kinds of different events.

“We have a ceremonial band which is about 20 to 25 people and we have a concert band which is also a little bit larger,” said Daley.

“Our primary duties are here at Fort Carson supporting ceremonies and other military events, events for families on post, but we also love to get out into the community,” said Newcomb.

4th Infantry Division Band member during a recent performance

“We have, we call them Musical Performance Teams (MPTs) and we have multiple,” said Daley. “We have a rock band, a jazz band, we have a couple of brass quintets, a brass band, I’m in the Ivy Winds Quintet which is a woodwind ensemble, so we can hit really any kind of genre with our different musical groups that we have.”

No matter the tune people love to watch them play, but the band loves to watch those listening.

“The community welcomes us quite often and it’s just great to see the joy that we bring to the community and then the joy that they give us in return is just incredible,” said Gonzalez.

In a typical year the band will perform 200 to 300 events and they have several holiday concerts coming up that the public can enjoy.

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