The U.S. Army Europe band and the Ukrainian military orchestra take to the stage at a 'Freedom Concert' in Kiev to celebrate friendship as America marks Independence Day. Gavino Garay reports.
Joining hands and joining forces on the stage is what this Fourth of July is all about for the U.S. Army Europe band and chorus, and the Ukrainian military orchestra here in Kiev. As the U.S. marks Independence Day -- it's more than their passion for performing that brings the two together, says Soldiers' Chorus Director Aaron Morris. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DIRECTOR OF UNITED STATES ARMY EUROPE SOLDIERS' CHORUS, CAPTAIN AARON J. MORRIS, SAYING: "Freedom is something that I think both the Ukrainian people and the American people understand very well. It is a bond that unites both our peoples." After performing a few numbers that organizers of this year's 'Freedom Concert' say helps build troop moral, the Ukrainian military orchestra took to the stage. Some locals say they preferred the more 'refined' melodies of their orchestra. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) KIEV RESIDENT, ANTON SHCHURIKHIN, SAYING: "Yes, in principle it is really not bad, but to be honest I enjoyed the local orchestra more.. I will tell you frankly, the guys from the States are of a provincial level." This isn't the only stage they share either... some 300 U.S. paratroopers are responsible for training around 900 Ukrainian National Guards at a military base in Western Ukraine. Following the concert, it's back to the base for these troops. But for now, let freedom ring.