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The U.S. Air Force Concert Band and 24 student musicians
The U.S. Air Force Concert Band and 24 student musicians from across the nation perform a concert at Bowie Center for the Performing Arts in Bowie, Maryland, on Feb. 8. This concert was the culminating event of The U.S. Air Force Band's first-ever Collegiate Symposium which offered a unique opportunity for talented college instrumentalists to immerse themselves with one of the world's finest professional wind ensembles. (U.S. Air Force photo by Technical Sgt. Matthew Shipes/released)
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Third Annual Collegiate Symposium Gives Students a Look into the USAF Band

Posted 2/1/2017   Updated 2/1/2017 Email story   Print story


by TSgt Kaitlin Taylor

2/1/2017 - Washington, D.C. -- The United States Air Force Concert Band is gearing up for its third annual Collegiate Symposium. This event will be held February 10-12, 2017, kicking off at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in the USAF Band's historic Hangar 2. A side-by-side concert will take place on February 12 at 3 p.m. at Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall & Arts Center, located at 4915 E Campus Drive, Alexandria, VA, 22315. 

Growing steadily in renown and popularity, the Collegiate Symposium is a chance for talented college musicians to engage with one of the nation's leading professional wind ensembles. One of the Band's newest members, Euphoniumist Technical Sgt. Erik Lundquist, was a participant in the inaugural and second Symposiums. This experience gave him an in-depth look at Band and military life prior to winning his audition in the Ceremonial Brass. "It allowed me to experience a day in the life of an Air Force Concert Band euphonium player. As a music education major in college it was easy to observe or shadow a local band director, but as a performance major it was more difficult to do the same. To play for and receive feedback from the musicians that do the kind of job that you are working toward every day is unique."

Falling under the umbrella of our Advancing Innovation through Music (AIM) program, the Symposium creates a forum for United States Air Force Bandsmen to share their experience as Airmen Musicians, and discuss the dedication it takes to pursue a professional music career. During a music-filled weekend, members of the Concert Band work with students in clinics, masterclasses, rehearsals and round table discussions. Chief Master Sgt. Mike Piersol, a 2015 and 2016 Symposium participant, describes the intentions of the program: "Our annual Collegiate Symposium is an invaluable part of our outreach program and a fantastic way for us to engage with university teachers and students. It allows us to immerse roughly 25 collegiate musicians from around the country into Air Force Band culture, as well as the Air Force at large. It gives them a glimpse into life in the Air Force as well as an opportunity to work side-by-side with our greatest asset - our Airmen Musicians."

The 2017 Collegiate Symposium is sure to be a musically packed weekend. The repertoire will include modern American compositions by Donald Grantham, Dan Welcher, Paul Dooley and others, as well as marches by Fučík and Saint-Saëns. We hope to see you at this year's Collegiate Symposium performance at Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall & Arts Center February 12 at 3 p.m.!

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