Wednesday, December 13, 2017

USAF Holiday Concert

Thanks to everyone for your comments on several previous posts. Grenville and myself especially appreciated the kind words that many left about the recycled Christmas tree at our VA home. We've been enjoying it nightly and hopefully so will the new owner. (As of this writing, the buyer's mortgage commitment has not been finalized but, as this is the holiday season, hopefully it's only a matter of timing.) 

We're still on our road trip and unfortunately still on the VA eastern shore. From here it was a relatively short (3-1/2-hour) drive to Washington, DC this past weekend where we visited with longtime friends, Linda and John (not shown) to attend a holiday concert. 
Before leaving NH, we had obtained tickets online for the United States Air Force (USAF) Band's 2017 holiday concert, Spirit of the Season, at Washington's DAR Constitution Hall. As with all military concerts, the tickets were no charge.
The U.S. Air Force Band started in 1941 when the newly-formed U.S. Army Air Corps activated 59 bands into operation. Over the past 76 years, the band has expanded its size and mission to include six primary performing ensembles and a global mission.
Today, the USAF Band consists of six separate performing ensembles: Air Force Strings, Airmen of Note, Ceremonial Brass, Concert Band, Max Impact and Singing Sergeants. Each group supports several small ensembles. Collectively, the groups perform more than 1,600 events annually with concerts coast-to-coast through local performances and national concert tours. These musicians also entertain service members deployed overseas.

The concert featured several of the band's most popular groups, the U.S. Air Force Concert Band, Singing Sergeants and Airmen of Note. These versatile ensembles team up every December to treat Washington, D.C. area audiences with songs of holiday cheer. 

During the nearly 2-hour performance, these ensembles performed an assortment of seasonal classics that included a flash mob. The performance ended with an audience sing-along and all the youngsters in attendance were invited onstage.

This was a wonderful holiday concert that was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone, including ourselves. We really got in the holiday spirit within 3 days. Last Wednesday evening we attended a holiday concert by the U.S. Fleet Services (Navy) Band at a local high school in VA last Wed evening. 

Our DC weekend was capped off with a 2-inch snowfall as seen from our friends' backyard.

If you're interested in viewing holiday and other concert performances by U.S. military bands (USAF Band, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps) check out YouTube videos. My personal favorite is the 2015 USAF Band holiday concert in Union Station in Washington, DC. It features band members wearing vintage U.S. Army Air Corps uniforms to celebrate the service of World War II veterans. (The swing music and flash mob are fun too.)


Emma Springfield said...

It must have been a once in a lifetime experience to see the USAF concert. I admit to a bit of jealousy there. The yard in all the snow is beautiful.

Connie said...

Sounds like a wonderful concert. I'm sure it was a lot of fun.

Anvilcloud said...

What a great seasonal event. Happy travels still.

Cheryl @ TFD said...

This sounds like an amazing experience! I love concerts.
Wishing you safe travels and that your VA home is finalized soon!

William Kendall said...

It sounds like you enjoyed it. I know our armed services have a similar program- I remember coming up onto Parliament Hill one evening and coming across a small Air Force band with a singer belting out a great rendition of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.

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