Air Force Band connects with local students

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Mariam K. Springs
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Air Mobility Command's Airlifter Brass, the Brass Quintet of the U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America, performed for about 40 students at Little Rock Central High School March 11, 2020.

March is designated as "Music in our Schools" month for Air Force bands, designed to target recruiting. The Airlifter Brass performed for the students and talked about their own personal experiences before and after joining a military band.

With the traditional instrumentation of two trumpets, a French horn, a trombone and a tuba plus percussion, the ensemble is known for its versatility and musicianship. A component group of the Band of Mid-America, their performance range spans five centuries, from the antiphonal sounds of the Renaissance to the diversity of American musical styles.

“The greatest part is seeing the students witness something new,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Laura Brown, Airlifter Brass Quintet of Mid America NCO in charge. “A lot of kids aren’t aware that there are military bands. I think it’s exciting for them to see the opportunity to play music beyond high school and college.”

The band’s primary mission is to tell the Air Force story through the music at home and while deployed overseas. The Band of Mid-America performs up to 400 missions annually at venues throughout a ten-state region from the upper peninsula of Michigan to Arkansas.

Following the band's performance members of the band interacted with the students and answered any questions they had about the band, Air Force, or music.

“The students get the opportunity to hear professional musicians who make a living whether they are conducting or playing an instrument,” said Brice Evans instrumental music director at Little Rock Central High School. “I think seeing the positive things military members are doing is important. It’s a great way to outreach to the community.” 

In addition to Little Rock Central High School, the Airlifter Brass visited the University of Central Arkansas and Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare Center.

Air Force bands visit different communities that create venues to bring people together and to connect Airmen and the community.

“Music in our schools is a lot of fun because often times we target from elementary school to college,” said U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Brandon Holts, Band of Mid America flight commander. “We generally carry a broader, larger message about the Air Force and Air Mobility Command to our general public. Our mission is to honor, inspire and connect, and connectedness is one of the largest things we do during community relations tours. It’s really special having an opportunity to talk to music students about what an Air Force career in music is like. They can understand not only the message, but the music.”