Concert Band, Singing Sergeants go west
By Senior Airman Abby L. Richardson, 11th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 30, 2018
JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- The U.S. Air Force Concert Band and Singing Sergeants performed in 12 locations throughout New Mexico and Texas from Oct. 16-27.
The band and vocal group tour regularly to build relationships with the public and inspire new generations of service members, while honoring those who served in the past.
“We represent all Airmen all over the world in a very professional manner by our appearance and through our music,” said Col. Larry H. Lang, U.S. Air Force Band commander and conductor. “Our music helps us tell a story of American patriotism and of American heritage.”
Starting in Los Alamos, N.M. and ending in Allen, Texas, the band performed a variety of songs each night. Musical selections comprised a carefully chosen combination of patriotic pieces and songs highlighting the region. Several songs encouraged audience participation, such as Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America.”
“We want to connect with each community in a very powerful and poignant way,” Lang said.
One of the ways the band cultivated connections was through personal interactions with high school and college students. During each concert, local band and chorus students were invited on stage to perform side by side with their musical counterparts.
“I grew up in a military family and this is something that is an option if I want to pursue it,” said Brittney DeCoux, Baylor University choir student. “This is a little taste of what it would be like if I did that.”
Additionally, each night the band highlighted current and former service members from all branches of the military and their families by performing each service's song and inviting those members to stand and be recognized.
“[We’re] thinking about that service, what it means to our nation, how important it is, and how honored we are to represent not only the Air Force, but all the services,” Lang added.
In order to reach a wider audience on the trip, the band also participated in several media engagements with local news stations and performed the National Anthem during a University of North Texas football game.
“We always want people to walk away feeling really good about America, and of course, about the Air Force and all of those who serve in the military,” Lang said. “That connection is really the number-one reason we’re out on the road, getting face-to-face with people.”