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Chief Master Sgt. Daisy Jackson
Chief Master Sgt. Daisy Jackson
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The U.S. Air Force Band laments the passing of an icon

Posted 7/31/2012   Updated 7/31/2012 Email story   Print story


by Retired Chief Master Sgt. Joe Tersero and Master Sgt. Jennifer Moore Tersero
The U.S. Air Force Band

7/31/2012 - Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, D.C. -- Retired Chief Master Sgt. Daisy L. Jackson, 62, formerly of Pensacola, Fla., passed away peacefully on Sun., July 15, 2012, following a brief illness.

Regarded as one of the most luminous soprano vocalists in Air Force history, Jackson's leadership and musical abilities had a major impact in national and international outreach initiatives and contributed to the Band's recognition as "America's International Musical Ambassadors."

As a leader, musician, and director of Public Affairs for The U.S. Air Force Band, she was the personification of a chief master sergeant--an attribute held in the highest regard by officers and enlisted across the Air Force.

Jackson graduated from the University of West Florida where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education. In 1975, she completed a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance at the Peabody Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Madame Alice G. Duschak. In 1979, Jackson graduated from the world-renowned Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Todd Duncan, chosen by composer George Gershwin to create the role of 'Porgy' in the American opera "Porgy and Bess," was Jackson's teacher during her studies at the Curtis Institute.

As a performer, Jackson's voice reached audiences throughout the United States and abroad. As a featured soloist with the Concert Band and Symphony Orchestra, she appeared in performances before presidents, senior statesmen and military leaders from almost every nation. In addition, she performed coast-to-coast as a recitalist and oratorio soloist and won numerous awards and competitions.

Perhaps her most memorable moment, was her performance on CNN's "Larry King Live" when she sang retired Chief Master Sgt. Mike Davis' a cappella arrangement of "America, the Beautiful," where she delivered a stunning tribute to the fallen heroes and victims of the Sept. 11 tragedy. Other notable repertoire masterfully performed by Jackson includes "Selections from Porgy and Bess," "Pace, Pace, Mio Dio" from "La Forza Del Destino," and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."

As director of public affairs, Jackson used her considerable vision and skill to build the Band's Guest Artist Series to a level of international prominence. As a result of her efforts, more than eighty world-renowned artists eagerly donated their time and talent during her tenure to perform with The United States Air Force Band. Jackson's savvy media relation efforts netted international exposure for the Band, including appearances on the "Today" show and "The Late Show with David Letterman," as well as numerous television appearances in the National Capital Region.

Widely recognized for her superior accomplishments, Jackson was praised as "one of the most popular vocalists" to be featured with The U.S. Air Force Band in the June 1997 issue of Air Force Magazine, where she was named among the eight most interesting women in the first 50 years of the Air Force. Additionally, she was chosen by the Thomas W. Anthony Chapter of the Air Force Association to receive the Woman of Distinction award in 2000. Finally, Jackson was selected by the Daughters of the American Revolution as a recipient of the first annual Margaret Cochran Corbin Award for exceptional military service.

According to Col. Larry Lang, the Band's commander and conductor, "Chief Jackson was a giant in the music industry. Her magnificent voice, her beautiful, radiant smile, and her uncompromising standards made us a better organization. Our Air Force family will miss her great and generous spirit."

A Memorial Service honoring Chief Jackson's life will be held on Aug. 4 in California. Shewill be interred in Arlington National Cemetery in November.

8/9/2012 3:50:07 PM ET
I knew Daisy Jackson as an artist but moreso--- as a coordinator of eventswhen I worked for radio station WGMS in Washington D.C. What an extraordinarily affable person she was An ideal representative for an organization like the USAF Band Orchestra and Choruses.She was modest concerning her talent alert to an individual guest's needs and presented herself with a positive confidence which always reinforced whatever I was trying to accomplish in my particular role.For me this untimely passing of a such a good person is extremely saddening.
dennis owens, Naples Florida
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