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Instruments in hand, 82nd Airborne band will play Sunday

Posted July 3, 2010
Updated July 4, 2010

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— Less than a day after fire destroyed a warehouse containing more than $1 million worth of equipment, uniforms and instruments, the 82nd Airborne Division band was getting ready for an Independence Day performance at Fort Bragg.

Band master Russ Houser issued the call for donations late Friday. By Saturday evening, he could say, "We will have an incredible show tomorrow night through the community and with the community."

Show will go on at Fort Bragg Show will go on at Fort Bragg

The Cumberland and Harnett county school systems and Methodist and Fayetteville State universities donated sheet music, instruments and everything the band needs to perform as planned Sunday evening.

The band is scheduled to play for about an hour, starting with the national anthem and concluding with the 1812 Overture as an introduction to a fireworks display on post. The concert will cap a day-long patriotic celebration featuring games, vendors, speeches and music.

The band will practice with borrowed instruments Sunday morning.

"Nothing is going to stop us from doing what we're supposed to do," band member Spc. Joshua Willis said.

On Friday, a fast-moving fire struck the warehouse, known as A-T building 1541 at Longstreet Road and Keerans Street, that the band used for storage and rehearsal space. People miles away reported seeing smoke from the burning World War II-era building.

"I figured the concert was going be a wash, but instead, it's been a great surprise," Sgt. Robert Ames said. "We've been able to pull this together so quickly."

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