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AF bands bring holiday weekend patriotism, entertainment

The Airmen of Note performs at the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Va., July 4, 2015, in celebration of Independence Day. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Philip Bryant)

The Airmen of Note performs at the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Va., July 4, 2015, in celebration of Independence Day. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Philip Bryant)

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Hazy skies and scattered showers kept neither the three Air Force bands nor their thousands of fans from appearing at various locales throughout the region on July 4.

Performances began at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum with the Air Force Ceremonial Brass Quintet, followed by performances from rock and jazz bands Max Impact at the Washington Monument, and Airmen of Note at the Air Force Memorial.

Senior Master Sgt. Ryan Carson, Max Impact's lead singer, delivered a sobering message between songs ranging from rock to pop, to rhythm and blues, and even an original composition.

"It's amazing how music has the ability to just reach out and grab somebody and bring them back home," Carson said to enthusiastic fans at the Washington Monument. "The reality of it is war is nasty and there are some times that people don't come home."

With fans appearing in droves and lining up to get photos with the band members, Carson said he felt the support not only for the band but all of the military.

"There's no greater feeling than to look out and see all the red, white and blue," Carson said. "Our country's up and down these days and everybody's searching and it's so awesome to join with one voice and say 'man I'm proud;' that's our mission -- to inspire patriotism."

Max Impact's newest and youngest member, 20-year-old female vocalist Tech. Sgt. Nalani Quintello, demonstrated her ease in gearshift among musical genres and eras, and said she considers her fellow bandmates "big brothers."

"It's just such a wonderful feeling to be able to represent all of those Airmen out there who are facing challenges every single day fighting for our freedom," said Quintello, a former American Idol hopeful. "This is the least I could do to serve my country and ... use music as a therapeutic tool to help people and inspire patriotism."

She called the dual opportunity to serve her country and play music as hard work, fun work and "the best opportunity in the world."

Later at the Air Force Memorial, Airmen of Note lead trumpet player and head of social media, Senior Master Sgt. Kevin Burns, described the crowd as the ensemble's largest, noting the service's premier jazz band has performed there regularly since the landmark's opening ceremony in 2006.

"To get this large of a crowd just makes it triply exciting because you get that much more response," Burns said. "This extraordinary memorial has such an impact just being in the middle of it."

Tech. Sgt. Paige Wroble, an Airmen of Note featured vocalist, said the band represents the precision for which the Air Force is known.

"It's really great to be able to touch the hearts and minds of these fantastic Americans, and D.C. has an influx of visitors from other countries, so it's an opportunity to say hello and bring a little taste of how we do Independence Day to them," Wroble said. "The freedoms we enjoy and the ability to do this is remarkable."

Wroble recalled a recent encounter between a Japanese air attaché and an Air Force senior leader.

"(The attaché) leaned over and said, 'if your band is this good, how good are your pilots?'" Wroble said. "These are some of the finest musicians you will find in the country."

For a list of Summer Concert Series performances, click here.

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