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The Air Force Strings is one of the most diverse and flexible units of The United States Air Force Band. This wide-ranging flexibility allows the ensemble to musically respond to the requirements of almost any occasion and provide an enjoyable experience for everyone. A key element of its mission is to entertain audiences at high-level protocol events in a formation known as the Strolling Strings. On other occasions it performs as The United States Air Force String Orchestra, presenting the standard works of the classical repertoire for strings. The ensemble often joins forces with members of The United States Air Force Concert Band, Singing Sergeants and Airmen of Note, to form The United States Air Force Chamber, Symphony and Jazz Orchestras. Additionally, members of The Air Force Strings appear regularly as soloists, and in duo, trio and string quartet ensembles, to present chamber concert performances, and provide quality entertainment and ambient music for official protocol functions.

Appearing as The United States Air Force Strolling Strings since 1954, The Air Force Strings has had the honor of performing at the White House for every president from Eisenhower to Clinton. Traditionally, a Senior Non-Commissioned officer has guided The Strolling Strings' musical direction. The extraordinary talent of this unit is regularly displayed at official dinners hosted by the secretaries of state and defense, on Capitol Hill for members of Congress, and at official diplomatic events hosted by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Providing a multi-dimensional experience, these outstanding musicians surround the audience with music performed exclusively from memory and without the aid of a conductor. Their repertoire includes classical, popular, continental, Broadway, bluegrass and patriotic compositions.

Truly international ambassadors of music, the Strolling Strings has traveled to every continent, every state of the Union, and virtually every Air Force installation, delighting thousands of listeners. The musical virtuosity and sheer elegance demonstrated by the Strolling Strings has earned the recognition of world leaders.

The United States Air Force String Orchestra traces its roots to 1944 when Colonel George S. Howard, commander and conductor of The United States Army Air Forces Band, set out to build the best band in the world. With this grand vision in mind, he recruited the nation's top musicians of the day and created a word-class symphony orchestra-thereby distinguishing The Army Air Forces Band from all other military band organizations. Today, The United States Air Force String Orchestra is honored to continue Colonel Howard's vision of musical excellence.

The United States Air Force String Orchestra meets the need for a more intimate, but lively form of entertainment at social gatherings, such as official military, diplomatic and high-level civilian functions. The Air Force String Orchestra has performed at numerous conventions and musical conferences-most notably, the International Viola Society. These performances have afforded the Strings numerous opportunities to accompany some of the world's most-renowned artists. From 1986 to 1988, The Air Force String Orchestra was the resident ensemble of The United States Air Force Band Sinfonietta Series at the Library of Congress, Coolidge Auditorium.

The United States Air Force Strings is comprised of 22 world-class musicians. Each of these outstanding performers has studied and perfected their craft at leading colleges, universities and music conservatories around the world. Their studies successfully prepared them to excel during an intensive and competitive audition process, which led to their selection for membership in The United States Air Force Band. A performance by The United States Air Force Strings reflects a combination of immense collective musical experience with the boundless dedication to perfection.

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