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WATCH--Interview with Composer John Williams

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Eric Sullivan
As The United States Air Force Band approaches its seventy-fifth birthday, we wanted to share an interview with one of The U.S. Air Force Band program's most impressive alumni.

John Williams, one of the most popular and recognizable American composers of our time, recently sat down with Col. Larry H. Lang, commander and conductor of The Air Force Band, for a short interview about his time in the U.S. Air Force as an Airman musician.  

Williams entered the service in 1952 and attended basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. He was stationed at both Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona and Pepperrell AFB in St. Johns, Newfoundland, which closed in 1960. He served primarily as a pianist and brass player; his arranging and writing, though extensive, was a secondary duty.

While serving in Canada, Williams was a part of the Air Force's early international outreach initiatives.  Now, through this interview, he is part of the Band's latest efforts to tell the Air Force story and reach a global audience via social media more than 60 years later.

In the video, Williams and Lang converse about Williams' service and how it influenced his Hollywood career. Speaking about the excellence of his colleagues and the energized culture of music making within the bands of his era, Williams states that his service was "a tremendous education...I reference it still." He and Lang also discuss both the process of writing for film and the possibility of a collaboration or visit to Historic Hangar 2, home of The United States Air Force Band.

Since leaving the Air Force, Williams' amazing career includes being presented five Academy Awards, 17 Grammys, three Golden Globes, two Emmys and five BAFTA Awards from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.  

Please enjoy this fifteen minute video, and check out our calendar page for more seventy-fifth birthday events, as well as other concerts throughout the summer.