Sioux City, Iowa --
The Iowa National Guard’s “Scrap Metal” music group is performing at several venues in Western Iowa this week. On Thursday morning the New Orleans style brass ensemble performed in Sioux City at Bishop Heelan High School, before making their way to Storm Lake for an afternoon performance.
The group is part of the 34th Army Band, Headquarter in the southeast Iowa community of Fairfield.
The Iowa National Guard band can often be seen at parades and other public events across Iowa. This week the “Scrap Metal” group is making their way through several Western Iowa communities before their tour ends at the end of the week.
The 34th Army Band is the only band assigned to the Iowa National Guard. The Army Band is one of the few military organizations whose public facing mission primarily involves interacting with the civilian community.
As part of the Army band’s mission, the group performs at venues like the Heelan High School event in order interact with and foster community support for the mission of the Iowa National Guard.
The Iowa National Guard has units in communities around the state, with nearly 10,000 Soldiers, Airmen and civilians who serve both a state and federal mission. According to Staff Sergeant Eric Newman, performances like the one in Sioux City allow Iowa residents to have positive interaction with the Iowa National guard.
Newman said the kind of music they perform is similar to Trombone Shorty, Lucky Chops or the Young Blood Brass band genre of music.
“We play some songs where people know the words, we play covers of pop tunes, some rock tunes and some that are original,” Newman said.
According to Newman their performance is not just for recruiting. Newman said it is important that Iowa National Guard members have the support of the communities where they serve. He said band members are thrilled to be ambassadors of the National Guard mission.
“We invite everybody else to have some fun too,” Newman said, when commenting on the public mission of the band. “We get to be what people see and we appreciate that.”
The band draws membership from a wide geographic area across the state. The group is made of professional bandsmen with a passion for music and a desire to incorporate their trade into service.
“The Iowa National Guard has done amazing things for me and my family, I’ve gotten to do something I love, working with amazing people and the most talented musicians,” Newman added.
During the tour the group played for Lewis Central High School, OABCIG High School, Logan-Magnolia Jr. and Senior High School, Shenandoah High School, Woodbine Community School, Bishop-Heelan High