by Technical Sgt. Kristin King
The U.S. Air Force Band
10/10/2012 - JOINT BASE ANACOSTIA-BOLLING, D.C. -- The United States Air Force Band is proud to hold the distinction as being one of the most educated squadrons in the U.S. Air Force. Many Band members hold a master's degree prior to entering the Air Force, and almost all Airmen musicians in this unit join with a bachelor's degree. A handful of musicians join the band after completing a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree, and even more complete this degree after enlisting.
Master Sgt. Brian McCurdy, a clarinetist with the U.S. Air Force Concert Band, recently completed his final two of four recitals necessary to earn his DMA from George Mason University. McCurdy, a technical whiz on his instrument, focused his Sept. 20 lecture recital on the contemporary and often extremely challenging music of Ned Rorem. He demonstrated difficult musical examples with ease while verbally explaining intricacies of Rorem's compositional style. Technical Sgt. Mandi Harper of the Singing Sergeants and Master Sgt. Mari Washington of the U.S. Air Force Strings assisted McCurdy in stunning performances of Rorem's "Ariel" and "End of Summer."
McCurdy's final performing recital on Sept. 22. was entitled "American Voices." The program featured the music of Ned Rorem, Stanley Walden and Dan Welcher. McCurdy took advantage once again of the opportunity to collaborate with his Air Force colleagues as Master Sgts. Mari Washington and John Romano and Technical Sgts. Josh Kowalsky and Sandy Sisk joined him in various pieces on the program.
McCurdy's dedication to higher education and commitment to the ongoing improvement of his craft is highly commendable. Both he and The United States Air Force will benefit from his heightened skills for many years to come. McCurdy will receive his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in clarinet performance from George Mason University in May 2013.