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Band program cuts equal new members at Peterson

A view from the percussion section of the United States Air Force Academy Band. The Concert Band gave a rousing patriotic tribute to all of the members of our Armed Services during this evening's performance.

The U.S. Air Force Academy Band, stationed at Peterson AFB, is adopting 17 new musicians from deactivated or downsized Air Force bands. (U.S. Air Force photo)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- As the Air Force Band program takes its share of budget cuts, five bands will receive significant increases in personnel over the next few months.

On May 14, at the Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts, the U.S. Air Force Academy Band performed in one of their last concerts before adopting 17 new musicians from deactivated or downsized Air Force bands. An increase of personnel will pose new challenges as well as greater possibilities for the band and their mission supporting the Air Force Academy.

Two of the 12 military bands serving in the Air Force will be cut by the end of September reducing Air Force Band budgets, and three bands will be downsized, restructuring the career field significantly. The USAFA Band will be one of nine remaining regional bands facilitating this restructure, in-processing new musicians and redefining the career field. Incoming personnel will be transferring from the Band of the Air Force Reserve, Robins AFB, the Band of the Pacific-Alaska, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, the Band of Liberty, Hanscom Air Force Base, the Heartland of America Band, Offutt Air Force Base, and the Band of Flight, Wright Patterson Air Force Base.

In 2012 The Air Force Academy Band hosted 438 concerts performing for more than 857,000 people around the globe. With the influx of 17 new musicians, the band will be the largest it's been since the 1990s adding a new brass group and clarinet quartet.

"With eight small groups plus the concert band and marching band, we will be well equipped to perform all of our missions, including Air Force recruiting, troop morale, community relations, education outreach, and strategic marketing for USAFA admissions" said Chief Master Sgt. John Gohl, the bands chief of personnel.

"I see the increase providing us additional performing options and the internal resources to fill out our manning. It also adds to the musical and visual presentation of the marching band allowing us to have a larger presence and impact during military and civilian parades," he said.

The USAFA Band's mission is to advance the U.S. Air Force Academy and global Air Force missions by providing professional musical products and services for official military, recruiting and community relations events worldwide. Additional members will quickly become an integral part of these unique missions of the band and its multifaceted service to Peterson AFB, Colorado Springs and the U.S. Air Force Academy.

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