United States Air Force Stellar Brass captivates in Canton
by Sarah Wonsowski, Staff Writer
Many people think that the branches of the Military consist of going on the battlegrounds, sailing the seas or even flying planes, but there are other areas within the branches of the Military where the enlisted can still serve the country by doing other things. These consist of being a musician, cooking, nursing, or even a teacher in the small villages the military families live in.
From Colorado Springs, Colorado, the United States Air Force Academy Band, Stellar Brass, held a concert at the Cherry Hill Village Theater in Canton Oct. 15. Stellar Brass drove across the country to different states, performing the same music.
“I enjoy being able to do what I like, while I get to be a part of something I think is valuable to society,” said Jacob Hilton, a first-year tuba player.
The concerts spread awareness of music education while also recruiting musicians into the Air Force. It is highly impressive to be a United States Air Force Academy Band, that Stellar Brass is made primarily up of first-year members, besides the band leader, Jeremy Grant. Grant has been in the Air Force for a total of 19 years, while being the band leader, playing the trombone for 5 years.
“Being in the Academy Band, is like having a full-time playing gig,” said Abby Martin, a first-year French horn player. “I enjoy doing the tours and playing for the public. My favorite part about touring is the teaching aspect of it. The band going to schools, and plays for the students, even with them.”
The music played was beautiful. The musical selection performed both instrumentally and vocally consisted of music from Moana, The Incredibles, even some classic marches such as the popular military march and Stars and Stripes Forever by John Philip Sousa. Their performance was chilling.
One piece that really showcased their talents was Moana’s “How Far I’ll go.” This song was sung by Abby Martin, and she did a phenomenal job, her voice blended nicely with the band’s sound. They played the background melodies and harmonies great and rounded the phrases beautifully. In much of the other selections, including this piece, they played the music, they did not let the music play them. First-year, trumpeter, Alex Szacs who is the lead trumpet brings out the high notes in the piece. While bringing out the music, he did this while not overpowering them.
“Letter From Home,” written by Aaron Copeland was by far the most emotional piece. The piece was introduced as how the members of each branch of the Military waited for letters from home, hence the name “Letters from Home.” Throughout the piece, each expression that one would feel while waiting for a letter from home was expressed within the music. The expressions of joy, sorrow, grief and excitement were all heard throughout this piece of music. This form of art is one that can connect to people with music. The music did not have words, but the harmonies and blends of the sounds are something that can make one emotional, without them knowing.
This concert was by far the most charismatic and touching concert the Air Force String orchestra performed since their performance at the Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. Both bands do an amazing job of serving the country in an artistic way with music that they know will touch the audience.