Air Force Band performs in Dillon tonight
summit daily news
The full United States Air Force Academy Band is on a mission – to show its free “Summer Spectacular” performance at Dillon’s July 3 “Never Forget: An Evening of Tribute” veterans celebration.
For more than 50 years, the Academy Band has used the power of music to inspire Air Force personnel and the nation, and produce innovative musical programs to perform around the globe.
“(Dillon) is gorgeous,” said Master Sgt. Claudia Weir, the band’s spokesperson and a bass clarinetist. “I’m so excited to come and play.”
Based in Colorado Springs, the band’s mission is to recruit for both the U.S. Air Force and the Air Force Academy, but it also tours war zones.
“It’s spectacular to have a world-class band in Summit County,” said Susan Fairweather, Dillon’s event director. “It’s going to be an amazing evening. They play all over the world. To have them here is a big deal. It’s huge!”
According to Weir, the band will recognize attending veterans during the performance at the Dillon Ampitheatre. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. tonight, and the performance will be followed by fireworks.
“The veterans celebration concept is fantastic,” said Weir. “There’s a lot of veterans and they don’t always get the recognition they deserve.”
The Academy Band will perform a variety of music, including some Broadway songs, 70’s rock and patriotic music. The performance will start off with a 30-minute jazz show by the Falconaires.
While the Academy Band’s members are not cadets, they are full members of the Air Force.
“We’re all musicians,” Weir said. “It’s a rigorous and competitive process to get in band. We go to basic training, but our service is playing music.”
And the musicians have high-caliber skills. Most of them actually have degrees in music, and they travel all over the world in the name of community relations.
The band will perform in full dress uniform, but they won’t wear hats for the outside concert.
While the main duty of members in the United States Air Force Academy Band is to play music, everyone in the band has two duties, Weir said. Besides playing bass clarinet, her other duty is media relations.
“We’re a self-contained unit,” Weir said. “If you had told me I’d be in a military band (as a little girl), I wouldn’t have believed you.”
Weir, a naturalized citizen originally from New Zealand, started playing clarinet in her school band 25 years ago.
For more information about the Academy Band, visit http://www.usasacademyband.af.mil.
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