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Honoring veterans is one of the most important components of the Bands mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Chief Master Sgt. Bob Kamholz)
Honoring veterans is one of the most important components of the Bands mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Chief Master Sgt. Bob Kamholz)
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Concert Band and Singing Sergeants Embark on Fall Tour 2017!

Posted 9/1/2017   Updated 9/1/2017 Email story   Print story


by Technical Sgt. Jilian McGreen

9/1/2017 - Washington, D.C. -- As summer days grow shorter and an eclipse comes and goes, the United States Air Force Band is once again preparing our annual fall tour. The tour celebrates the 70th Anniversary of the United States Air Force and brings your United States Air Force Concert Band and Singing Sergeants to Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, and Indiana.

Community outreach tours are an integral part of the Air Force Band's mission to honor those who have served, inspire Americans to heightened patriotism and positively impact the global community on behalf of the U.S. Air Force. The engaging and varied musical program, "Breaking Barriers," celebrates the Air Force's diversity as a service branch and its pride in commanding the skies. The Concert Band is excited to play a new wind ensemble version of "Red Tail Skirmish." Originally written by American composer Bruce Yurko for the U.S. Air Force Ceremonial Brass, "Red Tail Skirmish" celebrates the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen. The program also includes works by accomplished American composers from the tour area including Robert Russel Bennet of Missouri and James Barnes of Kansas.

As the Singing Sergeants prepare to embark on tour with the Concert Band, the flight is welcoming new members and celebrating the retirement of a beloved leader. Technical Sergeants Hillary Grobe and Matthew Hill are new to the ensemble and excited to go on their first tour with the U.S. Air Force Band. Chief Master Sergeant Erica Montgomery, flight chief of the Singing Sergeants, will be on tour for the very last time. Chief Montgomery has played percussion on over 40 tours with the United States Air Force Band covering all 48 states of the continental U.S. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, she graduated from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and was living in Indianapolis when she enlisted in 1997. She will be joined by family, friends, and mentors during her final tour through a part of the country she knows very well. Audiences can spot her playing timpani on every concert and the Concert Band and Singing Sergeants wish her the best in the next phase of her life.

Chief Montgomery isn't the only musician with a connection to the tour area. Senior Master Sergeant Phil Krzywicki graduated from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana in 1986. After 22 years with the Air Force Band, he is returning to play in Kresge Auditorium on DePauw's campus for the first time. "DePauw afforded me many fine musical opportunities," says Krzywicki. "The small class size and wonderful faculty gave me the attention I needed and nurtured my abilities. This is where I first realized my love for performing onstage."

Sergeant Krzywicki and other Air Force Band musicians will spend time at DePauw University, University of Missouri and other institutions teaching masterclasses and working side-by-side with students as part of the Advancing Innovation through Music (AIM) initiative:. In addition to working with students during the day, the Concert Band and Singing Sergeants will be joined by local band and choir students during each performance. The onstage experience affords students the opportunity to perform alongside musicians demonstrating Air Force excellence and professionalism.

We hope our fans, friends and family in Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, and Indiana will be able to attend "Breaking Barriers" celebrating the 70th anniversary of your United States Air Force. Tickets are free and performance times and locations can be found by clicking here:

Follow the United States Air Force Band on Facebook and Twitter or download the Air Force Band app for the most up to date information about upcoming performances in a location near you.

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