By Sgt. Samantha Beuterbaugh
BAGHDAD - The 1st Cavalry Division rock band jammed at the division chapel Dec. 22 in one of their last performances before the unit redeploys.
As the band members prepare for their redeployment, they performed a holiday concert, thanking their many supporters and contributors to their success.
"The performance was set up for the Division Special Troops Battalion," Staff Sgt. Dennis Milne said.
On behalf of the band members, vocalist Staff Sgt. Renatta Draper formally thanked both the Division Special Troops Battalion members for their support and the chaplain for the use of the chapel for both practices and concerts.
The intent, while searching for the music to be performed at the concert, was to find popular, widely-recognizable tunes as well as to find pieces that would incorporate the use of the horn section, Milne said.
The collaboration included popular hits like Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You"; classic sounds like "Little Drummer Boy"; and comical pieces like Alvin and the Chipmunks' "Christmas Don't be Late."
There are two band detachments with the 1st Cavalry Divsion: the traditional band members who march and play at ceremonial events, and the contemporary rock band, which plays pop, salsa and country tunes.
The rock band has been working together for 11 months and is made up of one guitarist, one bass player, one pianist, one drummer, two trumpet players, one saxophone player, one trombone player, two vocalists and one sound technician.
Although the rock band hasn't practiced together in weeks because of ongoing redeployment demands, trombone player Staff Sgt. Jesse Brown said it is an emotional experience to play for the soldiers, especially during the many welcome home ceremonies, which are typical gigs in the States.
Several band members had already been sent back to Fort Hood to prepare patriotic hymns for the 1st Cavalry Division's homecoming.