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It’s December in the Hudson Valley and that means one thing: it’s time for the West Point Holiday at Eisenhower Hall. As usual, there will be world-class music and an entertaining story. This year’s show is based on the beloved poem, “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” only with a witty West Point twist. There will be laughs, there will be twists, and there might even be an appearance from Santa Claus! How do I know so much about the script? I co-wrote it, along with my colleague, Staff Sgt. Erin Beaver. (The hilarious and clever rhymes—and there are many—were mostly her doing. She’s hilarious.) We did such a fine job writing it, I was asked to narrate the show, too.  I agreed. Normally I’m playing trombone for this production. This year, I’m the M.C.

8290076016_b5342d2048I’m not going to lie, I’m excited, but I’m also a little nervous. It’s almost like I’m watching my Kansas City Chiefs play. But a few butterflies never hurt anyone. I am truly looking forward to the opportunity.

One advantage I’ll have as the narrator is having an 18-month-old daughter who loves hearing her daddy read to her. Whether it’s a story about different colors, farm animals, or the alphabet, I strive for the dramatic and to entertain—I want my daughter to enjoy her books, after all! Only now I’m reading a holiday poem synced with music. And instead of reading to my toddler, I’m reading to several thousand people. No big deal!

This show is always spectacular and I’m confident this year’s will be no different. Come ring in the holiday cheer with the West Point Band!

Tickets are required for this free show. They can be downloaded at www.westpointband.com.

Words by Staff Sgt. Phil Stehly