USAF Band of Flight working hard at home, still reaching public

Staff Sgt. Chris Hanson, USAF Band of Flight percussionist, performs during the band’s Spirit of Freedom ensemble concert Feb. 22. (U.S. Air Force photo/Wesley Farnsworth)
Staff Sgt. Chris Hanson, USAF Band of Flight percussionist, performs during the band’s Spirit of Freedom ensemble concert Feb. 22. (U.S. Air Force photo/Wesley Farnsworth)

The USAF Air Force Band of Flight members are staying home because of the coronavirus but keeping busy during this time.

“We’re looking at ways to keep connected to our local community and support the mission of our Public Affairs teams,” said Tech. Sgt. Kelcey McDonald, NCO in charge of Productions with the Air Force Band of Flight. “We’re currently working on three different campaigns all of which are of band members working from home.”

The three campaigns involve band members videoing themselves at home.

“‘Meet the Band’ is the first campaign,” said McDonald. “This stems from people going up to band members after a concert and wanting to know more about them.”

With the band members at home and not performing events, it gives them time to introduce themselves by video.

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According to Chief Erb, chief enlisted manager of the AFBF, “Part of the Air Force Bands’ mission is to connect the American public to its military, and traditionally we do that with public performances across the nation. ‘Meet the Band’ is our effort for the Airmen to tell their story online as opposed to face to face.”

“Each band member is asked to do a video snap-shot of themselves in uniform,” said McDonald. “In the video they are asked to identify who they are, where they are from, instrument they play, where they have served and their most memorable performance during their career.”

Once the interviews are recorded and sent to McDonald, they are posted on the band’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube pages. This gives the opportunity for everyone to meet the band members personally.

The next campaign is “Practicing” social distancing. This shows their dedication to their craft by preparing for future events.

“The second campaign is to highlight members practicing at home,” said McDonald. “Each band member will wear their uniform and rehearse songs we plan to perform at our future community events. We’ll post one member per day on all social media platforms.”

The last campaign brings all the band members together virtually.

“We are making individual recordings and then edit them to create a virtual group performance,” said McDonald. “It will take some time and effort, but it is a great training opportunity to expand our squadron capabilities.”

“We hope that what we’re posting on social media will give some relief and inspire encouragement from what is going on in the world,” McDonald added. “As we practice social distancing, we want to give a mental break and spread joy to our community, even if it’s for a short time.”

You can visit the Air Force Band of Flight's FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/bandofflight and search #bandofflight on all social media platforms.