Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Air Force Band of Mid-America gets in tune with local middle school

by Staff Sgt. Amber R. Kelly-Herard
Air Mobility Command Public Affairs

4/2/2013 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Children can access music on the radio, TV or by streaming it online, but it's not every day they are able to listen to a live band perform.

Air Mobility Command's Band of Mid-America broadened the musical exposure in about 70 children at the Valley of St. Louis-Scottish Rite Cathedral March 14.

Band of Mid-America's concert band of more than 45 musicians performed a variety of songs including pieces from "Les Miserables" and "Dreamgirls."

"It was inspiring to see all that talent and to have them share it with us," said Lora Partney, Wolf Branch Middle School choral director. "The kids just finished their (Illinois Standard Achievement Tests) so this was a good pick-me-up for us to finish out the year."

Coincidentally, the chorus was also working on "Les Miserables".

"This is the best band I've ever heard," said 12-year-old Daniel Frew, Wolf Branch Middle School student. "I really liked the 'Les Mis' stuff a lot. I've seen it at the Fox, I've seen the movie and we're singing it in chorus. My friends and I are really big fans."

Following the band's performance, members of the band interacted with the children and some of them sang together.

This performance was held in conjunction with the U.S. Air Force Band Educational Outreach Program.

"Normally smaller groups will go out and perform at schools, but this was the first time in the seven years I've been here that we have brought the entire concert band to children," said Tech. Sgt. Robert Jordan, Band of Mid-America Operations coordinator. "Playing for children is one of the most rewarding things I do in addition to honoring our active duty members and veterans."

On top of serving as coordinator for the band and playing the bassoon, Jordan was recently awarded the Col. Finley R. Hamilton Outstanding Military Musician Award.

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