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1 ID Band and Lithuanian Military Band Connect with the Power of Music to Celebrate Lithuania’s 20th Anniversary of Invitation to NATO


VILNIUS, Lithuania — U.S. Soldiers assigned to the 1st Infantry Division (1 ID) band performed a combined concert with the Lithuanian military band for the 20th Anniversary of the Lithuanian invitation to join NATO during the Lithuanian armed forces day celebration at Vilnius, Lithuania, Nov. 23, 2022.

Although the performing bands spoke different languages and originated from differing nations, music has a unique ability to universally connect us through all barriers.

“What’s really neat about bringing bands from different nations together is that even if we don’t speak the same language, music is universal,” said U.S. Army Warrant Officer 1 Cena L. Duran, commander of the 1 ID band. “We come together with little explanation and the power that music conveys, delivers a message to the audience that even if they don’t understand the music, brings everyone in the room together.”

Cohesion and synchronization involving differing nations conducting the complexity of musical performances brings an inherent challenge of language barriers, however, music has the power to overcome those challenges.

“When you can interact with musicians from a different country there’s a language barrier but the music connects you,” said U.S. Army Spc. Mark Northup, an Army musician saxophonist assigned to 1 ID band. “It’s great to interact with musicians, it’s a really special moment every time that happens.”

The professionalism, talent and traditions of the 1st ID band make them a key component to participate in such a momentous moment for the Lithuanian people.

“We like the 1 ID band very much and I’m very happy because this is the second time we’ve worked together with 1 ID’s very good musicians,” said Lithuanian armed forces Maj. Egidijus Alisauskas, chief of the Lithuanian military band. “When the 1 ID band came to Lithuania, I preferred to find some American composer’s piece. So we played Alfred Reed’s very famous piece, because he was a Soldier in WW2, from the 529th Army Air Force band, and it was such a very beautiful piece he wrote for the band.”

Although musical styles and techniques may differ, music’s ability to bridge those gaps of difference is what makes music so powerful.

“The Lithuanians are very great musicians and the saxophones are not an exception to that,” said Northup. “The Lithuanian sitting next to me was a tremendous player who actually had a very similar style to myself, so it was really nice playing with someone with a similar style but comes from a very different school of thought being half way across the world.”

Soldiers from 1 ID, were excited to perform during the Lithuanian armed forces day celebration with familiar faces of the Lithuanian military band.

“When we came to Lithuania last August, we had a favorable disposition towards the American forces as well as the music from our bands so we were invited back by the embassy to support this NATO mission,” said Duran. “The Lithuanian military band has such great musicians and are a top notch band so it’s an honor to collaborate and demonstrate interoperability to strengthen our alliance with our partners.”

Date Taken: 11.23.2022
Date Posted: 11.30.2022 17:31
Story ID: 434244
Location: VILNIUS, LT 

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