Home » U.S. Army Europe and Africa Band and Chorus shines at National Day event in Senegal

U.S. Army Europe and Africa Band and Chorus shines at National Day event in Senegal

DAKAR, Senegal – Portions of the U.S. Army Europe and Africa Band and Chorus recently finished a tour filled with cultural exchanges in the western most part of Africa.

Members of the band’s Alliance Brass and Rhine River Rambler ensembles accepted the invitation from the U.S. Ambassador to Senegal to perform at its “National Day” celebration in Senegal.

Each year, U.S. Embassies worldwide hold Independence Day celebrations in the country in which they are based. While in most parts of the world the event is held close to the 4th of July, staff at the U.S. Embassy in Dakar, Senegal, put on “National Day” on President’s Day weekend to avoid Senegal’s July rainy season.

The event is a chance for the U.S. Embassy to share American culture with its partners in Senegal, presenting both an opportunity for a reunion with friends and making new ones. Guests were treated to food and drink specialties from four areas of the United States, including the South, Northeast, Midwest, Southwest.

Senegal is an important partner of the United States in promoting peace and security in West Africa. The two countries have enjoyed more than 60 years of strong cooperation.

“Our partnerships around the world, including our very special friendship with Senegal, are resolutely focused on promoting our shared visions of peace, prosperity and strong democratic governance,” said the Honorable Mike Raynor, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Senegal and to the Republic of Guinea-Bissau.

The Alliance Brass and Rhine River Ramblers performed a variety of music from jazz to pop in front of a crowd of about 1,800 people on the embassy grounds.

U.S Army 1st Lt. Jac’kel Smalls, USAREUR-AF Band and Chorus executive officer, said it was exciting to be part of an event where so many foreign ambassadors and dignitaries enjoyed a piece of American culture.

“I was speaking with a gentleman about where we grew up,” he said. “He said he was from Zimbabwe, so I asked him if he worked here. He told me he was the Zimbabwe Ambassador to Senegal and I was shocked to be having a casual conversation with someone in that position.”

United States Army Col. Jason Farmer, the embassy’s defense attaché, thanked the band not only for playing at the event, but for the cultural outreach happening while they were here, saying the musicians could reach people in ways the State Department could not.

“We will reap the benefits of your engagement for months to come,” Colonel Farmer said. “You hear the question, ‘where is America going to show up?’ There’s something about our African partners seeing U.S. military in full uniform that really shows our commitment. It says not only do we value our partnership, but we are making an effort to travel a long way to show you that America is here. We are your partners and friends.”

Source: dvidshub.net