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Air Force Featured Stories

AF band spreads holiday cheer

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Carlin Leslie
  • Air Force Public Affairs Agency, Operating Location – P

Dressed in holiday style the U.S. Air Force Band performed Dec. 15 at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, Va., as part of their holiday concert series.

Visitors lined the railings and the floor around the stage as the band performed holiday classics along with their own renditions, bringing in audience participation.

“I thought the performance was fantastic, the way the (band) brought traditional (songs) together with the theme about the Airmen serving all over the country and the newer takes on the songs, the crowd loved it and I loved it,” said Lt. Gen. Stephen Hoog, the Air Force assistant vice chief of staff.

Toward the end of the performance Col. Larry Lang, the Air Force Band commander and conductor, took the time to honor all veterans past and present in attendance, and currently serving.

“It is important to keep our troops in mind during this holiday season, I would be remiss to not honor all our veterans in attendance today and around the world,” Lang said.  “We are very privileged today to have a special veteran with us and honored he would take the time to attend our performance.”

The special veteran was Elmer Hill, the second oldest living World War II veteran at 107 years old. Hill was drafted into the Navy at the age of 35 in 1942 and served as a gunner in the Pacific theater aboard the USS Saginaw Bay aircraft carrier.

“I am very proud for our band to have a chance to perform for Mr. Elmer Hill, and all the great people out here in Virginia, it was an honor,” Hoog said.

The concert concluded with a carol singalong and Mr. and Mrs. Claus in attendance.

The band recently became an Internet sensation with their flash mob performance video at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. this holiday season, allowing millions of viewers to catch them in action.

“If you haven’t heard the band yet or haven’t seen the video, now is the chance to come out, it is worth your time,” Hoog concluded.

To view the flash mob video and for more information on the Air Force Band please visit: http://www.usafband.af.mil/