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Home : News : News Features
NEWS | June 17, 2024

NY Army Guard Band Performs for Netherlands King and Queen

By Eric Durr, New York National Guard

ALBANY, N.Y. - When the king and queen of the Netherlands visited New York Gov. Kathy Hochul in Albany June 12, the New York Army National Guard’s 42nd Infantry Division Band was there to welcome the royal couple.

Fifteen band members took part in the royal couple’s formal welcome to the governor’s house, and then performed during a reception at the executive mansion that evening.

“I think it was a really great opportunity for us to show what we can do,” said Sgt. 1st Class Eric Cudworth, the band’s readiness noncommissioned officer.

“We never really worked with the governor’s office before,” said Cudworth, who plays trombone in the band. “It was our opportunity to get our foot in the door.”

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima were in New York’s capital on the third day of a four-day visit to Georgia and New York. They visited Savannah and Atlanta and then New York City after their Albany stop.

After being met at Albany International Airport by a delegation that included Maj. Gen. Ray Shields, the adjutant general of New York, the two motored to the mansion for a formal welcoming ceremony from Hochul and her husband, William Hochul.

The band welcomed them with a performance of “Bravura,” a march written by American composer Charles Double in 1918.

The king and queen visited Albany Nanotech, where Dutch-made equipment produces computer chips, and the historic Schuyler Mansion in Albany before returning to the executive mansion for a reception.

Spc. Matthew Lewis played tunes on the mansion’s grand piano and then the band’s jazz ensemble performed background music.

Brig. Gen. Gary Charlton, the New York National Guard’s assistant adjutant general, air, said the performance was well received by the Dutch royals and the governor’s other guests.

Charlton represented the New York National Guard at the reception.

“The band was truly a hit among everyone,” Charlton said. “The music was absolutely the correct mix for the venue and audiences.”

He said it was obvious the musicians were having fun, and that energy transferred to the guests.

Cudworth said that because the event occurred between drill weekends, the performers were Soldiers who had the time to volunteer.

This gave the band’s enlisted directors, Spc. Steven Foti and Spc. Matthew Levine, the chance to take charge.

Last year the band traveled to Israel and performed at a July Fourth reception held by the U.S. ambassador to Israel.

Band members perform during 42nd Infantry Division events and deploy with the division headquarters when required.