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Strings bring chamber music to life

In honor of the John F. Kennedy 100th birthday celebration the Air Force Strings performed June 15 at the National Archives Building McGowan Theater performing selections performed at the Kennedy White House. (U.S. Air Force photos/TSgt Grant Langford/released)

In honor of the John F. Kennedy 100th birthday celebration the Air Force Strings performed June 15 at the National Archives Building McGowan Theater performing selections performed at the Kennedy White House. (U.S. Air Force photos/TSgt Grant Langford/released)

Strolling Strings perform for high school students.

Strolling Strings perform for high school students.

Master Sgt. Matthew Murray, left, and Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Davies, right, U.S. Air Force Band musicians, play the string bass at the V. Sue Cleveland High Concert Hall in Rio Rancho, N.M., Oct. 17, 2018. The band performed in five locations across N. M. and Texas and will continue to an additional seven cities, with a final concert scheduled for Oct. 27 in Allen, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Abby L. Richardson)

Master Sgt. Matthew Murray, left, and Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Davies, right, U.S. Air Force Band musicians, play the string bass at the V. Sue Cleveland High Concert Hall in Rio Rancho, N.M., Oct. 17, 2018. The band performed in five locations across N. M. and Texas and will continue to an additional seven cities, with a final concert scheduled for Oct. 27 in Allen, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Abby L. Richardson)

Members of the Air Force Strings perform at George Washington's Mount Vernon during a Veteran's Day observance (U.S. Air Force Photo by CMSgt Kevin Burns)

Members of the Air Force Strings perform at George Washington's Mount Vernon during a Veteran's Day observance (U.S. Air Force Photo by CMSgt Kevin Burns)

JOINT BASE ANACOSTIA-BOLLING, D.C. --

The Air Force Strings presented a celebration of chamber music in mid-March at The Lyceum, Old Town Alexandria, Virginia's venerable history museum. A distinctive component of The U.S. Air Force Band, the Strings were featured in two concerts of classical chamber music spanning from the Baroque period to the 20th century. These performances are part of The U.S. Air Force Band’s Chamber Player Series, which delivers free recitals of unique programs to the general public. These programs are developed and arranged by members of the band, and highlight their virtuosity and creativity.

The first of these concerts on March 14 featured violinist Master Sgt. Nathan Wisniewski and bassist Technical Sgt. Victor Holmes, performing works by J.S. Bach, Belá Bartók and Astor Piazzolla. Each musician presented a solo work before joining forces to conclude the recital with repertoire for violin and bass.

The performance on March 21 featured Senior Master Sgt. Bryce Bunner, Master Sgts. Mari Washington and Luke Wedge, and Technical Sgts. Christine Lightner, Matthew Maffett, and Ed Prevost on two standard and momentous works:  the string sextet “Capriccio” by Richard Strauss and Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 2, Op. 59.

Chamber music is a core component of the Air Force Strings’ mission. On almost any given day, a string trio or quartet can be found performing at various protocol functions in the Washington, D.C., area.  We sometimes play ceremonial music at a military member’s retirement, music like “Ruffles and Flourishes,” or the “Air Force Song.” Other opportunities to perform as a chamber ensemble include performing light classical music in the background of a Department of Defense or State Department event. This musical backdrop is a mainstay of our support for Air Force and national leadership.

Through the Chamber Player Series, members of the Strings have the opportunity to perform chamber music that is certainly not in the background. Rather, it pushes chamber music to the fore in well-known concert venues, thereby contributing to the lively local arts and music scene. The more intimate setting also provides our musicians a more approachable atmosphere than a typical concert. If you attend a future concert, we hope you will take the time to visit with us at the conclusion of the perfomance!

Click here to learn more about the Chamber Concert Series.