The Concert Band and Singing Sergeants are excited to embark on their Spring Tour this April, with the bulk of scheduled performances in the Empire State! Although the 10-day tour will begin with a performance in Stamford, Connecticut, the remaining nine days will be spent touring throughout New York state.
The U.S. Air Force Band’s uses the power of music to inspire our audiences worldwide, create innovative products and programs, and represent Air Force excellence. This excellence is showcased in the technical prowess and virtuosity required to perform this tour’s musical repertoire. Selections range from classic wind band pieces such as William Schuman’s “Chester” to “A Night at the Opera” featuring the Singing Sergeants in crowd-pleasing arias.
Tours concerts will also include exciting modern works like John Mackey’s “Antique Violences,” which will feature principal trumpet Technical Sgt. Micah Killion, who is pleased to serve as tour soloist.
“Preparing ‘Antique Violences’ has been an exciting challenge,” says Killion. “Although the solo requires me to play four different trumpets through demanding passages, the real difficulty is in being properly focused to make it through the piece night after night on a tour, making each show feel new and exciting. With such amazing colleagues making music with me, I'm thrilled to take the stage.”
One of the advantages of touring is the occasional opportunity to perform in the hometown of one of our Airmen musicians. Sharing our military service in these community relations concerts is a meaningful way to give back to the places we’re from. Soprano vocalist Technical Sgt. Ashley Keeks is from Churchville, New York, attended Churchville-Chili High School and studied at the Eastman Community Music School from 2000-2006.
"It's an honor to share our mission as military musicians with the community," said Keeks. "What better place to do that than my hometown, performing on the beautiful Eastman Theatre stage!"
It is our great delight to perform at renowned musical institutions during our national tours. These visits serve as a homecoming of sorts for our members. Technical Sgt. Blakely Carroll-Rosengaft, a trumpeter in the Concert Band, attended Eastman from 2004-2006 for her Master of Music degree, and on April 10, the ensemble performs at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.
“I am very excited to return to the Eastman School of Music as a member of the Air Force Band," shared Carroll-Rosengaft. "It is a wonderful institution, and I have so much gratitude for my teachers who played a key role in helping me become the musician I am today.”
Other Eastman alumni in the Concert Band include percussionist Master Sgt. Adam Green (1994-1998), and clarinetists Technical Sgt. Brian Wahrlich (2002-2008) and Technical Sgt. Jeremy Klenke (2005-2007).
The performance at Kodak Hall will be unique, featuring collaborations with Eastman faculty members. Mark Davis Scatterday, Professor of Conducting and Ensembles at Eastman, will conduct the Concert Band in a performance of his work “La Salsa.” Following Scatterday, internationally-acclaimed percussionist and Eastman professor Michael Burritt, will rejoin the Concert Band after his recent performance in our Washington, D.C.-based Guest Artist Series. Burritt will perform the newly premiered “Pseudovector for Percussion and Wind Ensemble” by Eastman Assistant Professor of Music Theory Matthew Curlee.
Be sure to catch us in your hometown! All tickets are free. Visit our tours webpage for locations, times and ticket info for all 2018 Spring Tour performances. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and download the Air Force Band app for up-to-date details about upcoming performances near you.