WASHINGTON - Fans of The U.S. Air Force Band will be able to listen to the latest recording project, “Air Force Blue,” by simply clicking the link on the band’s website. This album, the Band’s first release under Col. Larry H. Lang, is also the first digital-only release for the Concert Band, Singing Sergeants and Ceremonial Brass. In this new format, listeners will not only be able to listen to tracks, but also view graphics and cover art, read liner notes for each piece, and view personnel listings for each group.
This truly diverse collection of music includes new concert band commissions, classic staples of the band and orchestral repertoire, as well as Air Force favorites that showcase the history and camaraderie of the service. The Concert Band’s virtuosity shines on “Time Travels” by Senior Master Sgt. Robert Thurston and “Asimov’s Aviary” by Joel Puckett, both pieces composed specifically for this group. The musical precision of the Ceremonial Brass is clearly evident on Bruce Yurko’s “Red Tail Skirmish,” and the voices of the Singing Sergeants soar in triumph on John Williams’ “Call of the Champions.”
The Band was fortunate to welcome a special narrator for Thurston’s “Upon This Hill.” Natalie Morales, from NBC’s Today Show makes a guest appearance on this track, reading Lolete Barlow’s poem, “United States Air Force Memorial,” which inspired the music for this selection. Morales, the daughter of retired Air Force Lt. Col. Mario Morales Jr., felt it was important to contribute to this special project.
“What an honor to be able to add a voice to the beautiful words of ‘Upon This Hill,’ a tribute to the brave men and women of the U.S. Air Force,” Morales said. “Reading the poem triggered such emotion, thinking of my father’s time serving and knowing how meaningful those years were to him and to our family. I know many Air Force families feel the same and will be honored hearing this poem that speaks so much to all that they have given.”
Recorded in April 2013 at Merchant Hall at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas, Va., this project included more than 100 Air Force Band members on site during the recording session, including musicians, producers, engineers and support staff. The Band successfully created this special collection of music during five days of rigorous recording sessions, ensuring a stellar final product.