Redstone Arsenal, Ala. -- They are definitely soldiers first, but when you think of the 389th Army Materiel Command Band you think of all the entertaining performances on Redstone Arsenal and around north Alabama. You could also think of the solemn ceremonies with an AMC Army Musician playing taps at a veteran's funeral.
Sad to say, after some 74 years as a unit, the 389th will be deactivated before the end of this year. "The Army has to get their people to the right place with the assets we have available to us," said Staff Sgt. James Old, a musician with the band.
The decision to deactivate the band might be the right one, but it's still sad. "When we heard the news it was devastating because this was one of the assignments that Army musicians really love," said AMC Band member, Sgt. Amy Mahoney.
Something else to love right now is the fact the band's music will live on. With some guest musicians, members of the band had recording sessions at Fame Studios and Wishbone Studios in Muscle Shoals. "Obviously it was a ton of fun," said Staff Sgt. Old.
Fun it was, but better than that, the recordings mean the band's legacy, its music, won't be lost. "We walked into the sound booth and they had just done a real rough mix or rough cut of what we had just done. I couldn't believe it was us. It sounded incredible," said Staff Sgt. Old.
It will sound just that way from now on. Future music lovers will listen and appreciate what the soldiers, the musicians in the band did when they played with the 389th. "You'll never forget it. Especially just having a photo, how much better would it be to have a recording, and to make it with friends. So it's great, it's wonderful, I feel proud," said Sgt. Mahoney.
The music the band is proud of should be ready for listening by the end of the year. The AMC Band will end, but the music won't.