By Valerie Baldowski
Visitors to Nash Farm Park on Monday will hear musical entertainment with a decidedly military theme.
The Henry County Parks and Recreation Department will sponsor a free concert featuring the 338th Army Band at the park, located at 100 Babbs Mill Road in Hampton, beginning at 7 p.m.
According to Bob Van Dunk, military advisor for the Veteran's Historical Museum at the park, the 80-member band has traveled across the nation. The band has also been deployed overseas, according to Van Dunk.
The soldiers of 338th Army Band live in and around Michigan and Ohio, he said. As civilians, they work in different fields, including education, truck driving, academics, interior design and medicine.
Van Dunk said the band is led by Chief Warrant Officer Marty Marks, who is also the band director at Adrian College in Adrian, Mich.
Master Sgt. Tim Brennan said he is looking forward to playing at Nash Farm.
The soldiers in the band are participating in two weeks of annual training, said Brennan, which allows them to travel through different parts of the country. The troops are training this year at Fort McPherson in East Point, he said, and will be in the area until July 18.
"We get together once or twice a year for performances," he said.
Brennan was in Henry County on July 7 to visit the area, and said he was impressed with the facilities Nash Farm Park offers.
"It's beautiful there," he said. "We're really pleased with the venue."
Plans for traveling to Henry County were made well in advance. In December of last year, the band began working on its 2009 performance schedule, according to Brennan.
"We've been working on this for some time," he said. "It's a big job lining up concerts."
The music for Monday's concert, Brennan said, will include a combination of jazz, marches, popular tunes from television shows, patriotic music, and songs from the 1940s.
Van Dunk said the band also played at Heritage Park on July 8, and he anticipates strong attendance at Monday's concert.
"It's something free to support our troops with," Van Dunk said. "I expect Nash Farm to be phenomenal, with all the people. These guys really put on a show."