SISD, Army Band Partnership Unites Students, Soldiers to Strengthen Music Education

The 1st Armored Division Band from Fort Bliss performed for Socorro Independent School District students recently as part of a partnership between the Socorro Independent School District fine arts program and the Army band to support music programs in the district.

The collaboration among SISD music educators and Army band members is designed to assist and inspire students at all grade levels.

The ensemble’s recent interactive learning performances allowed SISD students to learn new techniques and gain feedback that will enhance their development as musicians.

“We are very fortunate to have this partnership,” said Janet Lynch, instrumental music specialist in SISD.  “This is a unique opportunity for all of our elementary, middle and high school students. Having our military come work in our schools is a true testament that we are a united community.”

Students were inspired by the performances of the talented musicians who are certified instructors and soldiers in the United States Army.

“Seeing the soldiers play was beautiful and exciting,” said Jacquelyn Reyes, a first-grader at James P. Butler Elementary School. “One of the cool things they showed us was the different sounds the instruments can make. After seeing them play, I want to learn how to play the trumpet.”

Fort Bliss band members said community outreach is an important part of their mission as mentors because it helps students hone their skills and become better musicians. 

“We came to perform and explain to the kids what we do as musicians in the Army,” said Sgt. Justin Maybree, a trumpet player who has been in the U.S. Army since 2009. “Army bands are the face of the Army, and by being here we get to tell the Army’s story. This is very important to us and its important that we support music education in schools, too.”

Teachers also enjoyed the instruction time with the Fort Bliss band.

“Any extra help or input we can get for our students is always welcomed,” said Megan Acosta, band director at William D. Slider Middle School. “I was excited to have them bring their expertise here and help out our kiddos. They gave them direction, new ideas, and with their assistance our band was able to place at a recent competition.”

Click here to view more photos of the event, courtesy SISD.