Staff Sergeant (SSgt) Derek Akers performs on French Horn for the United States Air Force (USAF) Heritage of America Band. While with the Heritage of America Band he has given community outreach performances, educational performances, and has honored veterans in 10 different states throughout the east and northeast United States. SSgt Akers is originally from Sulphur, Oklahoma. He holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from Texas Tech University, a Master of Music from Texas Tech University, and a Bachelor of Science in Instrumental Music from East Central University. His primary teacher was Christopher M. Smith, former associate principal horn of the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra in Spain and current professor of horn at Texas Tech University.
As an accomplished musician and teacher, SSgt Akers has performed in numerous professional orchestras and ensembles throughout the US. Some of these include The New Mexico Philharmonic, The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra, Santa Fe Pro Musica, The Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, Moonlight Musicals Inc., Ballet Lubbock, and he was a member of the New Mexico Wind Quintet. He has also performed in the Napa Valley and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festivals. Airman Akers has won numerous performance awards, including the 2016 Concerto Competition and Orchestral Mock Audition at the International Horn Society’s Mid-South Horn Workshop, held at the University of Oklahoma, and the 2012 IHS Mid-South concerto competition at the University of Central Arkansas. In 2015 Sergeant Akers was winner of the Texas Tech University Concerto Competition. As a teacher, SSgt Akers has held faculty positions at Eastern New Mexico University, Lubbock Christian University, and was a teaching assistant in the Texas Tech University School of Music during his graduate studies. In addition to teaching in higher education, SSgt Akers privately taught many of the top high school and middle school horn students within the state of Texas. He was an active adjudicator for All-State and All-Region auditions for the Texas Music Educators Association and routinely judged competitions for the International Horn Society.
2011 Bachelor of Science, Instrumental Music, East Central University, Ada, OK
2013 Master of Music, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
2016 Doctor of Musical Arts, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
1. Jun 2018 - present, USAF Heritage of America Band, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, VA
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
National Defense Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Medal
Air Force Training Ribbon
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Airman 1st Class 24 Apr 2018
Senior Airman 24 Aug 2020
Staff Sergeant 01 June 2022
(Current as of August 2022)