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Soldiers of the U.S. Army Europe Band rehearse at Tompkins Barracks in Schwetzingen, Germany, on Monday.

Soldiers of the U.S. Army Europe Band rehearse at Tompkins Barracks in Schwetzingen, Germany, on Monday. (Raymond T. Conway / S&S)

Soldiers of the U.S. Army Europe Band rehearse at Tompkins Barracks in Schwetzingen, Germany, on Monday.

Soldiers of the U.S. Army Europe Band rehearse at Tompkins Barracks in Schwetzingen, Germany, on Monday. (Raymond T. Conway / S&S)

Sgt. 1st Class Larry Tilby, of the U.S. Army Europe Band, focuses while playing his bass during a rehearsal.

Sgt. 1st Class Larry Tilby, of the U.S. Army Europe Band, focuses while playing his bass during a rehearsal. (Raymond T. Conway / S&S)

Lt. Col. Tom Palmatier conducts the U.S. Army Europe Band’s rehearsal Monday at Tompkins Barracks in Schwetzingen, Germany, on Monday. Palmatier, commander of the USAREUR Band and Chorus, is preparing the men and women for their upcoming holiday concert series, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” which opens Tuesday in Wiesbaden, Germany.

Lt. Col. Tom Palmatier conducts the U.S. Army Europe Band’s rehearsal Monday at Tompkins Barracks in Schwetzingen, Germany, on Monday. Palmatier, commander of the USAREUR Band and Chorus, is preparing the men and women for their upcoming holiday concert series, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” which opens Tuesday in Wiesbaden, Germany. (Raymond T. Conway / S&S)

Sgt. Jennifer Meris, of the U.S. Army Europe Band, plays the flute during a rehearsal

Sgt. Jennifer Meris, of the U.S. Army Europe Band, plays the flute during a rehearsal (Raymond T. Conway / S&S)

HEIDELBERG, Germany — The U.S. Army Europe Band and Chorus are gearing up for their holiday concert series, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”

They will present five shows in several cities across southern Germany. Performances will be full of singing, dancing and great holiday music from around the world, band officials said.

“This year’s program will be one of the most varied ever,” said Lt. Col. Thomas Palmatier, commander of the USAREUR Band and Chorus.

“It will feature singing and dancing based on the holiday traditions of Christmas, Hanukkah, Feast of the Three Kings and Ramadan.”

Band and chorus members began putting the program together in July. Because of the show’s complexity, the band recorded the instrumental accompaniments in early October, Palmatier said.

Singers have been working with the recordings to rehearse the vocal parts and the dancing. This week at Tompkins Barracks in Schwetzingen, the entertainers will put the final touches on the production during rehearsals. Their first joint show is Tuesday.

Over the past year, the band and chorus have performed more than 200 shows in nearly a dozen countries, including a tour in eastern Europe.

Since the 76th Army and the 1st Armored Division bands deployed to Iraq, and with the 1st Infantry Division Band soon to depart, the USAREUR Band also has stepped up its role in providing musical support throughout the European theater.

This year’s holiday season is meaningful for the families that are together, but is especially poignant for those that are not because of the deployments, Palmatier said.

“That’s why this year’s series is especially dedicated to the Army family,” Palmatier said. “Those of us who are with our families during this season have absolutely not forgotten our fellow soldiers who aren’t.”

The schedule ...

The U.S. Army Europe Band and Soldiers’ Chorus holiday concert, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” will be held at the following times and locations in Germany:

Dec. 9 — Hainerberg Chapel, Wiesbaden, 7 p.m.

Dec. 10 – Brahmsalle, Karlsruhe, 8 p.m.

Dec. 11 – Congress Centrum, Pforzheim, 7 p.m.

Dec. 14 – Rhein-Neckar-Halle, Eppelheim, 5 p.m.

Dec. 16 – Forum Am Schlosspark, Ludwigsburg, 8 p.m.

For more information on upcoming performances, contact the band and chorus public affairs office at DSN 379-6146 or civilian 06202-80-6146, or see the Web site www.1perscom.army.mil/BAND

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