Staff Sergeant (SSgt) Michael Ferrante, originally from O'Fallon, MO, is a saxophonist for the United States Air Force (USAF) Heritage of America Band, stationed at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, VA, where he performs with the Concert Band and the Rhythm in Blue jazz ensemble. In 2018 SSgt Ferrante deployed with the Blue Aces rock group in support of the Air Force Central Command mission. He performed in 6 countries throughout the Southwest Asia, connecting with audiences through the universal language of music and helping to build strategic partnerships with various nations.
SSgt Ferrante earned his Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, along with a Minor in Music in 2016. While at UMSL, he studied with saxophonists Adrianne Honnold, Hugh Jones, and Joel Vanderheyden. Throughout his musical development, he also had the opportunity to study extensively with Paul DeMarinis (Director of Jazz Studies, Webster University), former Air Force saxophonist Larry Smith, and world-renowned saxophonist Houston Person.
SSgt Ferrante began working with St. Louis-based professional big bands, jazz combos, and wedding bands at the age of 15. He also served as a saxophone instructor for the Jim Widner Big Band summer jazz camps from 2012-2016. Noteworthy performances in SSgt Ferrante's musical career include a short stint in 2012 with the esteemed Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians, a tour to China in 2015 as musical ambassadors with a jazz combo from UMSL, and auditioning for and being selected to perform with the Jazz Band of America under the direction of John Clayton.
1. Jul 2017 - present, USAF Heritage of America Band, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, VA
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Air Force Achievement Medal
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Air Force Good Conduct Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border
AF Training Ribbon
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Airman 1st Class 18 Apr 2019
Senior Airman 18 Aug 2019
Staff Sergeant 1 May 2021
(Current as of March 2022)