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Guard band hits the right note

By By Suzanne Digmon
The 151st Army Band, Alabama National Guard, stationed in Montgomery, performed Monday in Samson for a Veteran's Day program. The 151st Army Band is made up of the best enlisted
musicians Alabama has to offer, hailing from every corner of the state.
Known as "The Governor's Own," it is not surprising that six of the 42 members of this unit are from Atmore.
In honor of and with respect to the many veterans present at the service, the 151st gave a rousing performance of several well-known patriotic tunes, including America the Beautiful, Stars and Stripes Forever, March Grandioso, Washington Post, Liberty Bell, Amazing Grace and God Bless the USA.
The Veteran's Day ceremony, held at Samson High School, included speeches from Judge Pam Baschab of the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals and Maj. Gen. Mark Bowen, Adjutant General of Alabama.
Performing at events like this gives these musical soldiers a chance to give back to the their state and country in a way for which they are exceptionally fit.
"I had a desire to continue my career in music, and I felt that
joining the Army band would be a great way to do that and also serve my country," Spc. Keilan Lord of Atmore said after the ceremony.
"The National Guard has helped me pay for college with the GI Bill, so I'm happy to perform for the men and women who served before me and made that right possible," said Pfc. Patsy Digmon, also an Atmore native.
The 151st, directed by Chief W arrant Officer Mark Mills, performs at numerous events for various local, state and nationwide events throughout the year. The Veteran's Day program is just one of its many performances. Next month, a small ensemble of musicians from the 151st will perform two Christmas concerts.
On Dec. 6 at 1 p.m., this group will be playing a selection of Christmas tunes at Eastdale Mall in Montgomery. They will perform again later that evening at 6:30 at the Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery.
Other performances will be announced at a later date.