Washington, D.C. --
On April 16, the U.S. Air Force Concert Band joined forces with the Central Band of the Royal Air Force for a concert celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Royal Air Force. Held at D.A.R. Constitution Hall, the performance was a celebration of the friendship and military cooperation the United States and Great Britain have enjoyed throughout the last century.
A highlight of the concert was the featured soloists from both the Central Band and The U.S. Air Force. Technical Sgt. Forrest Sonntag, trumpet, and Corporal Lewis Musson, euphonium, took the stage together for a performance of Tom Davoren’s “Ascension.” Originally commissioned by the Central Band of the Royal Air Force and Brass Band of Battle Creek (USA), “Ascension” takes its name from the inspirational phenomenon that was Felix Baumgartner’s 2012 “Red Bull Stratos Jump,” which was the first skydive of its kind from the stratosphere. Structured in two continuous sections, the music represents both the ascending and descending stages of the jump, increasing in intensity and technical difficulty as the jump approaches.
“Playing Ascension was the highlight of my Air Force career thus far,” said Sonntag. “The collaboration with Corporal Musson, who is a musician of the highest caliber, was a challenge and a treat. The combined band, comprised of members of both the Royal Air Force and U.S. Air Force bands, was full of musical energy, and the audience seemed thrilled to hear this collaboration. All of it added a spirit of excitement at the concert performance that really made the piece sparkle.”
Click on the here to watch highlights from the April 16th performance of “Ascension.”