Serving their country and making music

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This past year has been one without a lot of live music performances that includes silencing a band that’s been playing in South Dakota for 136 years — the 147th Army Band of South Dakota.

Army bands are meant to boost morale for soldiers, veterans and civilians alike. The 147th Army Band’s history of making music dates all the way back to 1885. But, much of the music they play now wasn’t around back then.

Outside of their full concert band, there are five groups that play different styles of music.

“Our group splits into a rock band, a country band, more of a newer pop group with some hip-hop and we’ve got a brass group and then a small, I call it coffeehouse pop,” Commander Terry Beckler, a percussionist, said.

Beckler says the band has at least 30 performances in a year, sometimes 70 or more if they go on school tours. But due to COVID-19 they only publicly performed once between March of 2020 and the beginning of this month.

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