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HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE BAND: 1995-2002

Posted 4/13/2007 Printable Fact Sheet
 
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Lowell E. Graham, USAF Band Commander & Conductor, 1995-2002
Lowell E. Graham, USAF Band Commander & Conductor, 1995-2002
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Lowell E. Graham, Commander & Conductor, 1995-2002

On September 15, 1995, Colonel Lowell E. Graham became the commander and conductor of The Air Force Band. The change-of-command ceremony took place on the same day as the official grand opening/open house of the new Band building, Hangar II. Certainly no stranger to Washington, Colonel Graham was conductor of The Air Force Band's Air Force Strings and String Orchestra from 1975 to 1981. Among his first performances as the new commander and conductor were overwhelmingly successful appearances at the 1995 Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, the Florida Music Educators Association in Tampa and the 30th Anniversary Season of the Guest Artist Series.

In June 1996, Colonel Graham conducted a concert titled "A Duke Ellington Portrait" featuring The United States Air Force Orchestra. The event took place at the historic Lincoln Theater in Washington, D.C., and the repertoire included some of the Duke's seldom played large-scale symphonic works. 1996 also saw The Air Force Band return to the tradition of performing 4th of July concerts at the National Air and Space Museum. In December of that year, Colonel Graham led the Concert Band and Singing Sergeants in a Christmas concert at famed Avery Fisher Hall in New York City. He also expanded the annual Christmas concerts to include performances in Baltimore beginning in 1996, and Richmond, Virginia, beginning in 1997. Colonel Graham led The Air Force Band in the 53rd Presidential Inaugural Parade in 1997, as well as the Air Force's 50th anniversary celebrations in Las Vegas and Washington.

Important tours include the combined Airmen of Note/Ceremonial Brass' performances at the Army Tattoos in Sweden and Norway in 1997, High Flight's trip to Bosnia in 1998, the recreated Glenn Miller Army Air Forces Orchestra's tour of Europe in 1999, and the Air Force Strings tour of Asia in 2000. A special concert by The United States Air Force Orchestra at Constitution Hall in 1999, and the release of the compact disc Duke Ellington: The Symphonic Portrait that same year celebrated the centennial of the composer's birth.







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