Academy band performs for students in New York

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Brian Ferguson
  • Air Force Print News
In 1984, Tech. Sgt. Stephen Brannen, then 19, heard the U.S. Air Force band "Airmen of Note" play for the first time. He said that one concert changed his entire perception of the military.

Now, more than 20 years later, the U.S. Air Force Academy Band "Blue Steel," hopes their Nov. 22 performance gave students at Mamaroneck High School here the opportunity to learn more about the Air Force.

"We demonstrate the professionalism and high quality of the Air Force through music," said Sergeant Brannen, now lead guitar and vocalist for Blue Steel. "If we show them we are good, imagine what they must think about the rest of the Air Force."

The band played two 45-minute shows at the high school. The concert helped provide a small glimpse into what the Air Force and the Air Force Academy has to offer.

"As a guidance counselor, it's good for us to be exposed to the Air Force Academy and what it provides," said Pete Williams, a counselor at the school.

The band played songs by U2, Leonard Skynard and others. They also played original songs from their own music library.

"They played one of my favorite songs, 'Separate Ways' by Journey," Freshman Jordan Steinberg said. "They are great musicians.

When the concert was over, students could not resist coming up to the band members and thanking them, even asking for autographs.

"If we can impress students from New York City, we feel good. They have so much access to such good music," Sergeant Brannen said.

The sergeant hopes he can provide the same positive effect on these students as the "Airmen of Note" did for him.

"It appeals to kids my age," said 14-year-old Jordan. "If someone were considering joining the military, this could do it."

"The teachers loved it, the administrators loved it and the kids obviously loved it," Mr. Williams said. "Great show."

The U.S. Air Force Academy Band will be performing in New York throughout the week including in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and on Good Morning America Nov. 24.