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Collegiate Symposium Welcomes Twenty Young Musicians to the Air Force Concert Band

TSgt Kaitlin Taylor mentors a Collegiate Symposium Participant.

TSgt Kaitlin Taylor mentors a Collegiate Symposium Participant. This year's symposium will take place February 1st-3rd. (Photo by CMSgt Robert Kamholz/released)

Washington, D.C. --

The submissions have been evaluated and the invitees are nearly on their way. Within days, the fourth annual Collegiate Symposium will be up and running! Held February 1-3, 2018, at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in the U.S. Air Force Band's historic Hangar 2, the Collegiate Symposium is an event hosted by the United States Air Force Band for collegiate wind, percussion, double bass and harp musicians.

Over the course of three days, students will take part in a workshop encompassing many events designed to enhance their musical growth and education. This year, there were over seventy-five applicants, of which twenty were chosen. The rigorous audition process included a resume and recorded audio samples. These were then screened by members of the Concert Band, who in turn selected the participants.

As part of the Advancing Innovation through Music (AIM) program, the Symposium creates an environment for Air Force Band personnel to share both their experience as Airmen Musicians and their insights into the dedication it takes to pursue a professional music career. Members of the Concert Band will work with students in clinics, master classes, rehearsals and round table discussions. This year, the Band is partnering with Northern Virginia Community College to host the master class portion of the symposium.

The symposium will culminate with a side-by-side style concert on Saturday, February 3 at 8 p.m. at Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall & Arts Center, located at 4915 E Campus Drive, Alexandria, VA, 22315. The evening concert will feature some of the most enduring works of wind band literature, to include compositions by Grainger, Holst, Ives, Alfred Reed and Leonard Bernstein.

Technical Sergeant Ricky Parrell, coordinator of the symposium, speaks to this meaningful program for our student guests and Airmen Musicians alike:

"Our annual Collegiate Symposium is an invaluable part of our outreach program and way for us to impact teachers, students and the community.  Additionally, it brings civilian students from around the country into Air Force Band culture, as well as the Air Force at large.  It gives them a glimpse into life in the Air Force as well as an opportunity to work side-by-side with professional Airmen Musicians. It not only opens career paths for young people, it often exposes them to an entirely different culture and positively impacts their future relationship with the military.”