U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz and the city of Kaiserslautern hosted a German-American Friendship Concert to celebrate their longstanding partnership at the Fruchthalle, Oct. 3.
The United States Army Europe and Africa Band and Chorus played for an auditorium of nearly 500 guests for the event’s seventh occasion, performing a wide range of music from classical, contemporary and show tunes that had guests dancing in their seats.
The annual friendship concert was created in 2014 to celebrate the local German-American partnership that has endured more than 70 years since U.S. armed forces have been in the Kaiserslautern area. In 2020, pandemic restrictions unfortunately required the cancellation of the planned show.
“It is wonderful that we are all back together, as we celebrate our amazing friendship and once again, are able to share, together, in person, the great opportunity of seeing and hearing these incredibly talented musicians on stage,” said Deputy to the Garrison Commander Michael Amarosa in his welcome remarks.
Amarosa also highlighted the concert date as falling on the German federal holiday of Reunification Day as a symbol of coming together and serving as a positive example for close relations.
“The resonant theme for these occasions is a coming together of people; of partnership; of oneness. This evening celebrates the relationships we have developed throughout the years, and gives us an opportunity to interact as friends and neighbors,” Amarosa said. “It is with our sincere gratitude that we take this opportunity to say thank you to this great city and its people, who provide a home-away-from-home for our military members, civilians and families.”
“It is great to be back again for this popular event,” echoed Kaiserslautern Lord Mayor Dr. Klaus Weichel addressing the audience during his opening remarks for the show. “We are very thankful that we are able to put on this show in a safe manner.”
The event was held under the auspices of the 3G Corona ordinance requirements of attendees having to be vaccinated, recovered or provide proof of a negative test within 24 hours prior to the concert.
The fact that the concert was sorely missed last year was evident in the response for the free ticket give-away Sept. 24 as local citizens began lining up with lawn chairs at the entrance of the German-American Community Office several hours prior to the hand out.