As summer days grow shorter and the eclipse has come and gone, the United States Air Force Band is once again preparing an annual fall tour. The tour celebrates the 70th Anniversary of the United States Air Force and brings your United States Air Force Concert Band and Singing Sergeants to Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, and Indiana.
Community outreach tours are an integral part of the Air Force Band’s mission to honor those who have served, inspire Americans to heightened patriotism, and positively impact the global community on behalf of the U.S. Air Force. Breaking Barriers, an engaging and varied program, celebrates the Air Force’s diversity as a service branch and its pride in commanding the skies. The program includes works by accomplished American composers from the tour area including James Barnes of Indiana.
As the Singing Sergeants prepare to embark on tour with the Concert Band, the flight is welcoming new members and celebrating the retirement of a beloved leader. Technical Sergeants Hillary Grobe and Matthew Hill are new to the ensemble and excited to embark on their first tour with the U.S. Air Force Band.
Chief Master Sergeant Erica Montgomery, flight chief of the Singing Sergeants, will be on tour for the very last time. CMSgt Montgomery has played percussion on over 40 tours with the United States Air Force Band covering all 48 continental states. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, she graduated from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and was living in Indianapolis when she enlisted in 1997. CMSgt Montgomery will be joined by family, friends, and mentors during her final tour through a part of the country she knows very well. Audiences can spot her playing timpani on every concert and the Concert Band and Singing Sergeants wish her the best in the next phase of her life.
Chief Montgomery isn’t the only musician with a connection to the tour area. Senior Master Sergeant Phil Krzywicki graduated from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana in 1986. After 22 years with the Air Force Band, he is returning to play in Kresge Auditorium on DePauw’s campus for the first time. “DePauw afforded me many fine musical opportunities,” says SMSgt Krzywicki, “The small class size and wonderful faculty gave me the attention I needed and nurtured my abilities. This is where I first realized my love for performing onstage.”
SMSgt Krzywicki and other Air Force Band musicians will spend time at DePauw University, Missouri Military Academy, and other institutions teaching masterclasses and working side-by-side with students as part of the AIM initiative: Advancing Innovation through Music. In addition to working with students during the day, the Concert Band and Singing Sergeants will be joined by local band and choir students during each performance. The onstage experience allows students the opportunity to perform musicians demonstrating Air Force excellence and professionalism.
We hope that those in Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, and Indiana will be able to attend Breaking Barriers celebrating the 70th anniversary of your United States Air Force. Tickets are free and performance times and locations can be found by clicking here. Follow the United States Air Force Band on Facebook and Twitter or download the Air Force Band app for the most up to date information about upcoming performances in a location near you.